Champ Clark Bridge

Louisiana Press-Journal file photo.

LOUISIANA – Massman Construction expects to begin explosive demolitions of the now-closed Old Champ Clark Bridge in mid-to-late October, a company representative said last week.

The bridge had remained open for almost a month after traffic began flowing on to the New Champ Clark Bridge in order to allow access to the Two Rivers Marina just north of the Illinois approach. Now that drivers can access the marina from the approach to the new bridge, the old bridge can come down.

This week will be dedicated to getting ready for that project.

“We’re not going to get a lot done this week. We’re mostly prepping,” Massman Project Manager T.J. Columbatto said.

While most of the bridge will be taken down with explosive demolitions, crews will first carefully dismantle the first truss of the bridge, in order to protect the railroad that runs beneath it. In a bit of a twist, that will require first strengthening some of the supports for that section of the bridge — a process Columbatto said should start next. The first truss will be dismantled around Oct. 1.

The explosive demolition will then proceed  one section at a time later in October. MoDOT and Massman have said they will inform locals about when and where they can safely watch the historic process.

Massman Construction and the Missouri Department of Transportation plans to continue to hold regular updates on their progress as the demolition continues. Their next update is scheduled for the last Saturday of September, 28 at 10 a.m. in Riverview Park in Louisiana, weather permitting.

Send questions and comments to athorp@pikecountynews.com.

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