The Missouri and Illinois Departments of Transportation are in the final phase of completing the environmental assessment (EA) for a new Champ Clark Bridge on U.S. 54 over the Mississippi River in Louisiana, Mo. The public is invited to a public hearing to make final comments on the EA from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 9, at the Twin Pikes YMCA, 614 Kelly Lane, Louisiana.
This is an open-house style meeting where attendees can visit various stations to learn about the EA, as well as other issues regarding Champ Clark Bridge. A presentation will be held at 5:30 p.m., sharing the results of the EA, information on historic bridges in the area, information on upcoming road work and a brief description of the design-build method which will be used on the new Champ Clark Bridge.
All display materials and the opportunity to comment will be available online at www.champclarkbridge.com. Written statements and exhibits as well as oral statements will be received at the hearing, or by writing The Missouri Department of Transportatioon (MoDOT) at 1711 S. Highway 61, Hannibal, Mo. 63401, to the attention of Keith Killen. All comments about the environmental assessment must be received within ten working days after the date of the hearing, by Thursday, June 23.
“Funding for a new bridge has been included in Missouri’s draft five-year transportation program,” said Brian Haeffner, MoDOT area engineer.
He went on to explain that the draft program will be presented to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission at its meeting Thursday, July 7, in St. Louis, where they will hopefully approve the program.
“We are accepting comments about projects in the program until June 10,” Haeffner said. Comments can be submitted online at email@example.com.
The Champ Clark Bridge is nearly 90 years old and is considered structurally deficient and functionally obsolete by today’s engineering standards.
“Millions of dollars has been spent to keep the bridge safely open for its users, and we are pleased we are closer to making a new bridge a reality,” Haeffner said.
Bridge to close for annual inspection
The U.S. 54 bridge over the Mississippi River in Louisiana, known as the Champ Clark Bridge, will be closed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, June 13 through Friday, June 17, to conduct the annual full-depth inspection. The bridge will be open for the weekend, then will be closed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, June 20 through Friday, June 24.
"Bridge crews out of Jefferson City will bring what's called the Snooper truck to help perform the inspection of the lower part of the bridge," said Brian Haeffner, MoDOT area engineer. A lift will be used to allow inspectors to check out the upper parts of the truss.
“Safety concerns and the continued deterioration of the bridge require us to close the bridge during the inspection,” Haeffner explained. “We know this is inconvenient, but we are giving users of the bridge advance notice so they can plan accordingly,” he said.