Mississippi River to Get First New Bridge in 40 Years

The Mississippi River is set to get its first new bridge in more than four decades after a $229.5 million construction deal was awarded to contractors last week.

An artist's rendering of the new Mississippi River Bridge to be built between Illinois and Missouri.Dubbed the Mississippi River Bridge Project, it will create a new connection between Illinois and Missouri, and better connections to and through St. Louis.

The project includes a bridge, the realignment and reconstruction of Interstate 70, and numerous local roads on both sides of the state line.

The Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission awarded the main span of the contract to a joint venture from Massman Construction, Traylor Brothers, and Alberici Constructors.

"The important thing to remember is this bridge dramatically improves safety, relieves congestion on the Poplar Street Bridge, and provides alternate routes through the region,” stated Kevin Keith, P.E., the Missouri Department of Transportation's chief engineer in a press release. “Additionally, the overall bridge project will promote economic growth regionally."

The lowest bid for the main span of contract of the bridge was almost $40 million higher than officials had expected when they put out a request for proposals. Additional funding will be taken from savings made on the overall project and $11 million from the I-64 construction project and bond savings.

About 18 percent of the money awarded to the prime contractor on the project is earmarked for minority- or woman-owned businesses. An additional $3.5 million incentive could also be included to encourage the contractor to be socially and environmentally responsible.

Source: The Epoch Times