Missouri is proceeding with plans for a new bridge at Louisiana, despite the defeat of a statewide sales tax increase.

The outcome does not mean a replacement for the 86-year-old Champ Clark Bridge is being put on the back burner.

An environmental study and route selection should be completed by next spring. A highway department spokesman said Wednesday that  the state still considers the bridge replacement a top priority, and will do all it can to find the money for construction.
Missouri and Illinois will share the cost, which is estimated at 40 million to 60 million dollars.

A ¾ cent sales tax that would have paid for the new span and other projects failed in the statewide vote. The proposal was rejected in 11 of the 17 counties in Northeast Missouri. It passed only in Pike, Clark, Knox, Marion, Monroe and Montgomery counties.