New Champ Clark Bridge By 2017.. Maybe
(LOUISIANA)-- The site for a new bridge at Louisiana should be chosen by July 2015, but construction won’t start until money is available. People got a look Tuesday at three site options for the new bridge. Two of the routes go north of the existing Champ Clark Bridge and one is south of it.
The new bridge likely would have two lanes totaling 24 feet in width and shoulders of eight to 10 feet on each side. The existing 85-year-old bridge is only 20 feet wide and prompted safety concerns after a deadly 2011 accident that led to a federal lawsuit.
The state considers a new span a priority project that could begin construction as early as 2017, but that won’t happen unless funding is found in a tight budget.
Also unveiled Tuesday were four options for changing the intersection of Highways 54 and 79 at the western approach to the bridge. Two of them would cause significant changes to businesses and perhaps even homes.
Once a preferred bridge route is chosen, the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, which heard about the importance of the project at a recent meeting in nearby Clarksville, and the Federal Highway Administration would have to approve.