Missouri, Illinois Departments of Transportation host meeting for partner groups

The first stage for the new Champ Clark Bridge moved forward through a meeting with interested businesses at the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Northeast District office in Hannibal.

MoDOT and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) officials invited about 50 contractors, suppliers and consultants to a joint meeting focused on replacing the existing Champ Clark Bridge, which spans the Mississippi River on Highway 54 in Louisiana. MoDOT and IDOT personnel evaluate each entity's Statement of Qualifications, which includes their resumes in building bridges across major rivers. Companies will be selected competitively to design and construct the bridge, with the selected low bidders for the design and construction process working together in a design-build team.

The design-build model is different than previous MoDOT projects. With the design crew and construction crew working together, the design can be tailored for the contractor's strengths. The procurement period for the project is divided in two parts, beginning with statement of project goals and seeking qualifications from the groups at the meeting, said Champ Clark Project Director Keith Killen, P.E.

Killen said that MoDOT and IDOT employees were pleased with the strong turnout for the meeting and the large number of teams who were interested in the project.

“We expect to have a selection of two to five teams the first part of February,” Killen said.

Next, a Request for Proposal for designing building the bridge will be submitted by each of those teams short-listed by MoDOT and IDOT officials. The proposal that provides the best value and satisfies goals and requirements of the project will be selected during the Missouri Highway Transportation Commission meeting on Thursday, June 29. From that point, the chosen design-build team will secure environmental permits, which could take between two to six months, Killen said.

Killen said that entire program cost is $68 million, including right-of-way work, utility relocation and other work. From that total, $60 million would be awarded to the selected design-build team. The proposed location is just south of the current Champ Clark Bridge, following a three-year environmental study.

The existing Champ Clark Bridge was built in 1928, named after Bowling Green native and former U.S. Congress Speaker of the House James Beauchamp Clark. The five-span truss design bridge connects Louisiana to Pittsfield, Ill. The silver structure was repainted deep green in 1983, and repair work was completed in 1999. Additional rehabilitation efforts by MoDOT in 2015 included a new coat of gray paint.

For more information about the Champ Clark Bridge, please visit www.champclarkbridge.com. Any future repairs to the existing bridge will be announced on the webpage. MoDOT also provides an e-update service, to provide information about the bridge project and road closures, at https://www6.modot.mo.gov/eMoDOTWeb/jsp/signon/signon.jsp.

Reach reporter Trevor McDonald at trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com