Ground broken on new Champ Clark Bridge - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Ground broken on new Champ Clark Bridge

Posted:
The groundbreaking ceremony took place on Friday. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on Friday.
The bridge was built in 1928. The bridge was built in 1928.
Blankenhorn said an upgrade is needed. Blankenhorn said an upgrade is needed.
Allen said trucks on the bridge are intimidating. Allen said trucks on the bridge are intimidating.
McKenna said safety is a top priority. McKenna said safety is a top priority.
LOUISIANA, Mo. (WGEM) -

The ground has been officially broken on the new Champ Clark bridge.

The Champ Clark Bridge connects Pike County, Missouri with Pike County, Illinois. However, residents like Betty Allen said on Friday that its role in the community is so much larger than that.

"Words can't really tell you." Allen said. "It's an enormous, enormous, plus."

Officials and community members in Louisiana, Missouri took part in a ground breaking ceremony. Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said the bridge is essential, and a new structure is needed. 

"Transportation is how you connect people." Blankenhorn said. "It's how connect jobs. It's how you connect economies. And this bridge there are safety issues that we're all concerned about, and we needed to bring it up to 21st century standards."

Allen added that as time has gone on, cars and trucks have gotten bigger which is difficult for the bridge.

"Today's vehicles are much larger than what the bridge was meant for." Allen said. "And sometimes you think well, with those big trucks, they're intimidating."

That intimidation is going to be ending soon. MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna said the new Champ Clark Bridge will a big upgrade.

"It all comes down to safety, and dollars and cents." McKenna said. "And when communities invest around these structures, we have to retain them." 

Work on the new bridge is expected to begin as early as next week, and the anticipated completion date is fall of 2019.

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