A day that motorists in northeast Missouri and western Illinois have been looking forward to for many years finally happens on Saturday.

The new Champ Clark Bridge that carries Highway 54 across the Mississippi River at Louisiana will be dedicated and opened to traffic Saturday evening.

The fact that the new bridge is being named for the Bowling Green native, former Congressman and Speaker of House is something for which Champ Clark’s family is grateful.

Champ Clark's great grandson, St. Louis attorney Ben Clark will be the keynote speaker for the dedication, which will also include remarks by the directors of both the Missouri and Illinois Departments of Transportation.

The ribbon cutting is open to the public. It will begin at 6:30 and shortly after the ceremony ends around 8, the new Champ Clark Bridge will be open to traffic.