April 1, 2019 - Issue #14
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Winter weather hasn't gotten the best of the construction crews working on the new bridge. Despite a frigid and rather snowy and icy winter, all 181 pre-cast deck panels are now set on the new bridge! This is a tremendous milestone that now allows crews to pour concrete in those joints during nicer weather. Work on the levee has been delayed due to flooding, yet there is plenty of other work that can be accomplished despite rising waters. According to Project Director Keith Killen, P.E., with MoDOT, work will continue as long as the barge at the riverfront can safely take workers and material to the work site on the new bridge. There haven't been a lot of new photos added to our Flickr site, since most of the work involved setting pre-cast panels over the winter, but we have uploaded a few recently. We are really excited some of our readers have shared information about the existing bridge, and these stories and pictures are featured below.
(left) Setting the pre-cast panel was a milestone for crews. They had placed 181 of the panels over the winter.
(right) This vertical picture shows how the new bridge is taking shape. Crews are ready for warmer weather so they can pour concrete in between the pre-cast panels. Despite current Mississippi River flooding, and barring unusual circumstances, Massman remains on schedule to complete the bridge by Fall 2019.
Students Interested in Construction Attend Career Fair
More than 100 students from schools all over northeast Missouri, St. Louis and western Illinois attended the Champ Clark Bridge Career Day on March 8 in Louisiana. April Hendricks-Baldwin, with MoDOT's Equal Employment Opportunity Division, other MoDOT staff, and Massman Construction, LLC, organized the event to help students learn about about opportunities in the heavy highway industry, specifically construction and engineering, in addition to others. A variety of booths hosted by several companies throughout the region who hire these workers provided more insight to the type of work the students could do in the future. A panel of experts in these fields which included Colby Davis, Massman Superintendent; Jeff Smith, Senior Project Manager, HNTB; Katy Liley, Project Manager, Gerdan Slip forming (a DBE firm); Ron Brown, IDOT Statewide Contract Compliance Manager; and Crystal Norwood, Massman Operator Apprentice gave an overview of their respective career and answered questions from the students about average pay, required travel, and opportunities for advancement. Since there were so many young drivers in the audience, mostly juniors and seniors, safety was an overriding message throughout the career fair, which featured the Missouri State Highway Patrol's seat belt convincer.
While the presented information and visiting the various booths were interesting to the students, the highlight of their day was spent physically at the construction site on the new bridge. Donning full personal-protective equipment, the students were able to walk onto the bridge from the Illinois approach to get an up-close experience of what it is like to be on a construction project.
Readers Share Memories, Connections to Bridge
Carl Hirst, and his wife, Char, of Mexico, MO, took some time during the cold winter to look through a large box of very old photos from his grandparents, Elba and Jessie Schlieper, who were long-time residents of Pleasant Hill, Illinois. In this box, he found the photo (left), which is marked "New Pike Ferry. "I recall grandpa, who served in World War 1, talking about the ferry before the original bridge, so we wanted to share it with you," said Hirst. "We pass over the bridge often in route to Pittsfield to visit his 95-year-old mother and have taken many photos of the construction progress," he added. Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Hirst, for sharing this piece of history with all those who are interested in the Champ Clark Bridge.
(Below) This photo was submitted by Andy McGlinn, who has a direct connection not only to Louisiana, MO, but also to MoDOT! His great grandfather, Andrew J. Murphy, is pictured with a team from the bridge (date unknown). His grandfather was a co-owner of J and M Market, which was located on South Main for many years. His brother, also named Andrew J. Murphy, was a local attorney and businessman. To carry the connection a bit futher, his daughter, Marianne McGlinn, is an archeologist with MoDOT. An employee of 18 months, Ms. McGlinn wasn't involved in the original environmental studies of new Champ Clark Bridge, since they were completed before she came on board. Thank you for sharing, Mr. McGlinn!