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The Champ Clark Bridge, built in 1928, is part of the U.S. Route 54 corridor and spans the Mississippi River connecting Louisiana, Missouri with the state of Illinois.

MACON – Demolition continues on the old Champ Clark Bridge in Louisiana. The first implosion to demolish two spans of the old bridge took place in October. Since then span 1 over the railroad tracks has been removed.  Now plans are in place for the second implosion to drop the remaining two truss spans, #4 & #5, on the Illinois side. 

This pair of truss spans is scheduled to be dropped into the Mississippi River Monday, Nov. 18 between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.  “As we experienced with the first demolition event, the timing of the blast can be delayed. Massman Construction will do its best to have the blast occur within the scheduled window of time. However, ensuring the safety of everyone involved is their number one priority, so a delay may be possible,” stated Missouri Department of Transportation Project Director Keith Killen.

The new bridge will temporarily close, possibly for up to 45 minutes, as a safety precaution during the blasts.

There will be no restrictions as to where individuals can view the blast from the Missouri side of the river.  Boats on the Mississippi River will be stopped a minimum of 1200 feet upstream and downstream of the bridge.

The demolition blasts will be available to view live on the MoDOT Northeast District Facebook page. 

Once these last two truss spans have been dropped, Massman will have a limited time frame within which to retrieve all debris from the Mississippi River.  

Removal of the piers has begun and will continue as spans are removed from the river.  “Massman has chosen to jackhammer the existing piers down to the water’s surface to prevent possible damage to the new bridge,” Killen added.

After the removal of the above-surface piers has been accomplished, work will move below the water’s surface.  “The remaining pier sections will be strategically drilled in order to allow for the placement of explosives prior to blasting,” Killen explained.  He noted blasting of the piers would not be as dramatic as detonation of the truss spans.  Resulting debris will be removed from the river bed.

Project updates and additional information about the project can be found at the Champ Clark Bridge website, www.champclarkbridge.com, or the Champ Clark Bridge page on Facebook.