WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today announced the approval of $10 million in competitive federal grant funding to replace the Champ Clark Bridge, a two-lane bridge that connects Louisiana, Missouri with Pike County, Illinois and is nearly a century old.

“This highly competitive grant funding is great news for Missouri jobs,” McCaskill said. “Interstate commerce is critical for our state’s economic vitality, and this bridge—which is an important connector between our state and Illinois—is long overdue for an upgrade.”

The $10 million federal grant will assist with the $60 million total project cost of replacing the bridge, one of only three Mississippi River crossings in Missouri north of the St. Louis metro area. Regular flooding of the Mississippi River and an increased need to perform maintenance on the 87-year-old bridge has required frequent closures, which results in one-way detours of 77 to 183 miles. The bridge takes its name from Missouri’s James Beauchamp Clark who served as a former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1911 to 1919.

The TIGER grant program—officially the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program—targets major national and regional transportation projects that are often difficult to pursue through other government funding programs. Selected projects must foster job creation, show strong economic benefits, and promote communities that are safer, cleaner, and more livable.