Louisiana is another step closer to a replacement for the aging Champ Clark Bridge.

Louisiana is another step closer to a replacement for the aging Champ Clark Bridge.

The federal government has approved a $10 million grant to help with construction of a new crossing just south of the existing one.

The pressure is now on Missouri to come up with its 25 million dollar share. Despite being in a deep budget hole, Illinois says it has the money.

A Missouri Department of Transportation spokesman said engineers will start working out a schedule with their Illinois counterparts that could include design work. An environmental study for the new bridge is nearing completion.

The 87-year-old Champ Clark Bridge was built when Herbert Hoover was president and has needed significant repairs the last few years.

It is the oldest vehicle crossing still in use on the upper Mississippi River, and was the scene of a deadly 2011 accident that prompted a federal lawsuit. Engineers say additional repairs and temporary closings are possible.