Transportation officials in Illinois and Missouri are considering a proposal to construct a replacement bridge connecting Pike County, Illinois, to Louisiana, Missouri. The current two-lane Champ Clark Bridge is nearly 90-years old and carries Highway 54 between the two states over the Mississippi River.
According to a report in the Post Dispatch, the price tag on the project is $60-million. The state of Illinois has already pledged its share, $30-million, and Missouri is currently seeking funding for its share. The federal government has pledged $10-million for the project. The Champ Clark Bridge, named after a former U.S. Speaker of the House from Missouri, was closed during the daytime for several days last week so rivets could be replaced. A detour around the bridge can take motorists anywhere between 77 and 183 miles one-way. The current bridge is also susceptible to flooding.