HANNIBAL – The public is invited to celebrate the beginning of construction on a new Champ Clark Bridge. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Friday, September 8 from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the riverfront in Louisiana.
Several dignitaries are expected to attend the ceremony to either speak or help break ground. Incorporated into the ceremony is participation from both Missouri and Illinois, as well as local talent. “We are pleased to bring together so many people and organizations who have helped make this project a reality,” said Missouri Department of Transportation Northeast District Engineer Paula Gough. “It will truly be a memorable occasion for all in the region,” she continued.
According to Keith Killen, P.E., and Champ Clark Bridge project director, area residents will see construction beginning at the U.S. Route 54 and Missouri Route 79 intersection. “There will be curb, gutter and sidewalk work, as well as new lighting and pavement installed in this area,” Killen said. “Although the design of the entire project will continue to be developed, we are pleased no businesses are being displaced in that area,” he mentioned. The only displacement is the sign at the Ayerco convenience store. “The new bridge will tie in very close to where the old bridge does, and that construction will be at the very end of the project,” he explained. He also clarified that the old bridge will stay open while the new bridge is being constructed, barring any significant safety or maintenance issues.
Project “offices” are being set up in the city so the contractor, Massman Construction Co. and MoDOT, can be on site throughout the project. “We appreciate the city working with us to determine a location and help us get set up,” Killen said. He expects the offices, which are being housed in trailers, to be set up by early October.
MoDOT will provide regular updates about the project, including progress, photos and video, at www.champclarkbridge.com. On the website, individuals can sign up to receive email updates about the project.