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February 9, 2018 - Issue #4 

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All piers are not the same!  More than 5000 drivers who cross the bridge each day as well as the many residents who live in the area see work being done in the river on the piers.  To those of you watching, this may not appear to be exciting work.  Yet, for the engineers and construction workers, it's not every day we get to build a $60 million bridge over a major river!  From placing amazingly huge steel casing to pouring concrete and managing issues like sand infiltration and frigid temperatures, we love our work and the fact that we are building a beautiful, safe structure that will prove to be as another important connector over the Mississippi River as the original bridge was when it opened in the 1920's.  Even though weather has contributed to slower progress, we will continue to persevere and look forward to spring. 

Selected rosemary ledgestone

The people have voted!  The retaining wall that will be built just south of the new bridge near the bluff will be rosemary colored with a ledgestone texture, as pictured above.  Michael Massman, design-build coordinator with Massman Construction, indicated 576 votes were cast and ledgestone was the overwhelming choice of pattern with 89%, while the color rosemary was with 59% of the vote.

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If you've ever wondered, and you probably have, how a pier is built in the middle of the river, you'll have to ask one of these experts!  It requires a lot of math, science and technology just to get the design on paper.  Once designed, construction engineers work with the materials such as steel casings, rebar, and concrete to put it all together.  The river piers, piers 2, 3, 4 and 5, are being worked on during this phase of the project.

Watching History Unfold from 4000 Miles Away

NE Ron McElfresh Photo

Louisiana native Ron McElfresh and his wife, Vernelle, write "greetings from Hawaii...Aloha!"  Even though they are more than 4000 miles away, Ron is getting the opportunity to watch history unfold near the Champ Clark Bridge that he remembers as a little boy.  “This bridge replacement is something we all thought we would never see,” he said. “But I am able to watch it as if I was right there in Louisiana.”

“I remember our car radio being interrupted by interference from each bridge span as we travelled across it,” said McElfresh. “I thought it was magic!”

Born and raised in Louisiana, a tour in the Army eventually sent McElfresh from Louisiana to Japan. After that he would stop off in Hawaii, where he would eventually return to go to college at the University of Hawaii – Manoa.  Eventually, he and his wife would return to Pike County, Missouri, where they raised their family. Now living in Hawaii, Ron and Vernelle return occasionally to Louisiana.  "We look forward to driving across the new bridge," he said.

Saturday CC Bridge Update

Public Invited to the Monthly Progress Meeting

Saturday, February 24

10 a.m.

120 S. Main Street


Thank you to those who braved the cold and came out for our first public update last month!  We appreciate your time, interest and questions.  An update will be provided the last Saturday of each month at the project office "village" on the waterfront in Louisiana.  The update will be held outside and last about 30 minutes.  In the event of inclement weather, the meeting will not be rescheduled.

speakerSpeakers Available

Looking for a speaker for an upcoming event, meeting or for your employees?  MoDOT and the Champ Clark Bridge team are available to share with you the latest progress on construction, as well as other transportation improvements being made in the area.  Give us a call at 573-248-2502 if you would like to schedule a professional.

historyDid you know?

The Pike County region is not only rich in history, but also in artists!  The image you see at the top of this web site is a compilation of several images provided by local artists Margie Greenwell and Lori Purk.

Pittsfield High School Students Featured on the News

The competition is heating up among six regional high schools to help preserve the history of the current Champ Clark Bridge.  Area high school S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) students are being challenged to design an interpretative panel that includes actual components of the old bridge.  Recently, WGEM Television interviewed students from Pittsfield High School as they toured the construction site of the new bridge and heard from the engineers and construction staff building the bridge. The winning design will be selected in April, with an announcement to be made during a community event where all designs will be showcased.

  Pittsfield School news story

Click on the image to be directed to the news story, which aired February 2, 2018.

nettingSafety netting recently was installed along the bridge to prevent debris, like mirrors and trash, from falling on those working on the piers below.

For all pictures of work, go to MoDOT Northeast District's Flickr site.  

The web cam can be found under the Construction tab of this site.