The estimated cost to replace the Champ Clark Bridge over the Mississippi River at Louisiana has been slashed from the original $90-100 million to $50 million, according to MoDOT officials.
The announcement came Wednesday, Sept. 11 at the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission hearing held at Tievoli Hills Resort near Clarksville.
MoDOT officials originally thought the main navigation channel span of a new bridge would have to be as wide as the 600-foot one at Hannibal, or the 750-foot length at the Alton bridge. However, the U.S. Coast Guard recently told MoDOT the 400-foot span currently on the Champ Clark Bridge is sufficient for river traffic and will not have to be lengthened.
That significantly decreased the cost estimate to $50 million, which will be split by Missouri and Illinois.
MoDOT officials also said the funding to build the new bridge is still not available, although planning is underway.
Clarksville Mayor Jo Anne Smiley asked the commission to consider raising Hwy. 79 on the straightaway one-half mile south of town near the Eagles Bluff Course so the town would not be cut off during flooding.
For the full story, see the Sept. 18 edition of the Louisiana Press-Journal.