Michael Rose

The beginning of construction of the new Champ Clark Bridge will be celebrated at a groundbreaking ceremony in Louisiana Friday.

According to Marissa Ellison of the Missouri Department of Transportation, a number of distinguished guests will be on hand, including the heads of the Missouri and Illinois Departments of Transportation, and the great-grandson of James Beauchamp "Champ" Clark.

The groundbreaking starts at 10 a.m. on the Louisiana riverfront. The public is invited.

The first phase of the bridge project, the revamping of the intersection of Highways 54 and 79 in Louisiana, begins Monday.