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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.

New Bridge Completion Expected in Fall 2019

HANNIBAL – By Fall 2019, motorists traveling across the Mississippi River on U.S. Route 54 between Illinois and Missouri will enjoy a wider, safer ride.   Massman Construction Company, headquartered in Kansas City, was selected today as the best value proposer to design and construct the new Champ Clark Bridge by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission at its meeting in Bowling Green. Replacement of the bridge is a partnership between the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The Massman Team is comprised of Massman Construction Company serving as the prime contractor and HNTB Corporation providing the design services.

The Massman Team was one of four design-build teams competing for the contract.  Design-build is a project delivery method that combines both the design and construction phases into one contract to save time and resources.  This is the first design-build project in MoDOT’s Northeast District.  Information about the project, including history of the existing bridge, can be found at

The Massman Team’s proposal call for the new bridge to be constructed just south of the existing bridge, while traffic is maintained on the existing bridge through most of the construction. The best value selection includes a new forty-four foot wide bridge, elevating the Illinois approach to eliminate closures from flooding and improvements to the Route 54 / Route 79 intersection in Missouri.

“We’re proud to have been selected to build the new Champ Clark Bridge and look forward to a good working relationship with the team and the region,” said Mark Schnoebelen, Vice President of Massman Construction Company.  “We know our work will not only impact local folks who travel in the area, but all motorists who cross the Mississippi River here,” he added.  “We’re committed to building a quality bridge at a good value as quickly as possible,” he concluded.

The Massman Team’s goal is to subcontract 12 percent of the construction and 16 percent of the professional and design activities to Disadvantaged Business Enterprise companies.  Federal workforce goals also require that 3.1 percent of those working on the project are minorities and 6.9 percent are female.  “We had the opportunity to connect the teams with DBEs this year, as well as provide a job fair last fall for anyone interested in potentially working on the new bridge,” said Keith Killen, project director of the Champ Clark Bridge and a professional engineer with MoDOT.  He added the team and MoDOT will work together to host another job fair later this summer.

The next step in the design-build process is for the Massman Team is to fine-tune its design plans.  When those are complete, MoDOT will hold a public meeting to share the final scope of work, including proposed renderings of the new bridge.

The Massman Team plans to begin construction this fall and have the bride open to traffic by the Fall of 2019.  A groundbreaking ceremony will be held later this fall.

The Champ Clark Bridge name is expected to stick with the new bridge.  It was named for former presidential candidate and Speaker of the House James Beauchamp Clark, who also served as assistant prosecuting attorney in Pike County for 26 years.

Replacement of the 90-year-old Champ Clark Bridge, the oldest bridge in northeast Missouri, is a critical project to maintain the state’s transportation infrastructure.  “Our focus is to take care of our existing highway and bridge system and keep it in good condition,” said MoDOT Northeast District Engineer Paula Gough.  “This bridge is an important link on the U.S. 54 corridor. It has served us well for many, many years, but has become increasingly unreliable. We’re excited that we can finally get to work building a new bridge.”

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