Even though the groundbreaking for a new Champ Clark Bridge took place less than a year ago, construction has now reached a milestone in the extensive project that will bring a new and improved bridge to an important part of Missouri's infrastructure, Louisiana, and the surrounding community.
"As far as construction goes, we're halfway there," said Keith Killen, P.E., Missouri Department of Transportation Project Director. "The piers in the river are nearly complete, and crews have begun placing steel girders that will support the bridge deck."
Although it is still months away, MoDOT and Massman already have the next phases of the project planned. "Work on the bridge deck will begin this winter, and continue into spring, with roadway pavement put in place in the summer of 2019. The new bridge will be open to traffic by fall of 2019, and the existing Champ Clark Bridge will be demolished by spring of 2020," Killen said.
Aside from work on the bridge, crews have completed the U.S. Route 54 and Missouri Route 79 intersection improvements, as well as an overlook at Riverview Park, both of which were part of the Massman Team's proposal for the Champ Clark Bridge Project.
What the public may not be aware of is the large amount of materials required in an extensive project like the Champ Clark Bridge. "The new bridge will use around 10,000 cubic yards of concrete," said Killen, "In comparison, this is approximately three times the amount of cubic yards that would fit in an Olympic swimming pool. In addition, the largest girder section on the bridge is 140 feet long and weighs approximately 98 tons. This is nearly 8 times the weight of a school bus."
When complete, the bridge's travelway will be 44 feet wide,which is 24 feet wider than the current Champ Clark Bridge. Expected to last for 100 years, the new bridge will require less annual maintenance and will be easier to inspect. The bridge will be open to traffic by November 2019.
To keep up to date with this project as it continues over the next year, please visit www.champclarkbridge.com.