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The Champ Clark Bridge is a five-span truss bridge over the Mississippi River connecting Louisiana, Missouri with the state of Illinois; it carries US Route 54 northeast to Pittsfield, Illinois where US Route 54 ends.  The bridge, built in 1928, is a narrow two-lane bridge on a 20-foot deck.  The bridge, originally painted silver, was repainted deep green in 1983, and repaired in 1999.  In 2005, MoDOT rehabilitated and painted the bridge, replacing the green with gray.  The bridge is 2,238.4 feet in length and the span over the main channel of the Mississippi River is 418.5 feet in length.  The bridge is named after James Beauchamp Clark, a former Speaker of the House from Bowling Green, Missouri.  Clark served as Speaker from 1911 to 1919.

COST OF NEW BRIDGE: $60 million is available to the design-build teams, which will include designing and constructing a new bridge, as well as, removing the existing bridge. The new bridge is a cost-share project between Illinois and Missouri DOT's. The $10 million TIGER grant is included in the $60 million available funding.

HANNIBAL – Monday, April 3 through Friday, April 7, the Missouri Department of Transportation and its contractor will have work zones set up on U.S. 54 on either side of the bridge, as well as on Third Street in Louisiana to do some core drilling.  There are four locations, and in each area, the highway will be down to one lane throughout each day.  “This is one of several things we are trying to accomplish prior to actual work beginning to replace the bridge later this fall,” explained Keith Killen, a professional engineer with MoDOT’s Northeast District and project manager for the new bridge. 

Killen said there are four teams competing for the design-build contract for the new bridge, and it is anticipated one of these teams will receive the contract award at the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission meeting to be held in Pike County in late June.  “There are a lot of items we have to accomplish between now and then, but we are progressing at a good pace,” Killen said.  The actual construction of a new bridge is expected to begin later this year.

Killen and his team are working with MoDOT’s external civil rights division to bring together the four teams and disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE’s) to help prepare for the work.  An event with these audiences will be held Friday, April 21.  Any DBE interested in attending needs to contact MoDOT’s external civil rights division.

MoDOT also wants to remind area drivers that MO 79 south of Louisiana will be closed later this year to replace two bridges.  The contract for new bridges over Buffalo Creek and Noix Creek is expected to be awarded next week at the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission meeting.  A public informational meeting will be held later this spring when more details are known about the project.

To stay informed about the Champ Clark Bridge project and other road work, Internet users are encouraged to subscribe to MoDOT’s e-update notification system and text alerts for road closures.  Subscribe online.