The bridge is expected to open in the fall of 2019.

Massman Construction Co. of St. Louis was awarded the bid to replace the aging Champ Clark Bridge in Pike County, Mo., submitting a bid that was $2 million under the proposed budget.

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission — the Missouri Department of Transportation’s governing board — approved the recommendation of the project’s team at its meeting June 29 in Bowling Green. Massman submitted a bid of $60 million for the project.

The bridge is expected to open in the fall of 2019.

Among the most attractive aspect of Massman’s bid was the promise of no significant lane closures during the construction phase. Additionally, of the three bids received, Massman proposed the most extensive work to the Highway 54/Route 79 intersection, which project director Keith Killen said “doesn’t function well.”

The mood of the commission’s meeting was congratulatory, as several speakers, including Pike County Commissioner Chris Gamm and Clarksville Mayor Jo Anne Smiley praised the commission and MoDOT for its vision in making the Champ Clark Bridge a priority.

Massman will received a $1 million incentive to complete the project before Nov. 1, 2019.

The intersection improvements will include four additional overhead lights to direct traffic, as well as expanded lanes to allow larger vehicles more turn room.

The three bids were evaluated by a panel, awarding points in four categories, including:

• Project definition

• Schedule and maintenance of traffic

• Quality and safety

• Community improvement and diversity evaluation

Massman also said it would eliminate potential flooding issue on the Illinois side of the Bridge by addressing a “notch” created by U.S. 54 in the Sny levee.

Missouri and Illinois are splitting the costs of the new bridge, and a $10 million TIGER grant will supplement the funds.

MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna praised Killen and his team for their “persistent and positive approach” to the project.

The two other companies submitting bids not accepted will each receive a $200,000 stipend.

The new bridge, once completed, is expected to last 100 years. The current bridge was built in 1928.

Reach editor Eric Dundon at