Champ Clark Bridge

Louisiana Press-Journal file photo.

LOUISIANA – Destroying a major piece of infrastructure will usually get you a hefty  prison sentence and a lot of public ill will.

The demolition of the old Champ Clark Bridge offers a chance for two lucky locals to  satisfy that urge.

It’s a unique opportunity, and the groups selling off opportunities to push the button in both Pike Counties say sales are going well.

Would-be demolitionists have until Oct. 14 to register their interest by buying a ticket. Provided the schedule set for the demolition doesn’t interfere, raffle winners will be drawn live on the Louisiana Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page on Oct. 16 at 2 p.m. One winner from Illinois and one from Missouri will be selected to do the deed.

Two explosions will be used to take down the four spans of the bridge toward the Illinois side, two spans at a time. The dates will be set by the team carrying out the demolition, and the winner will need to be able to make themselves available or offer a stand-in at the time specified.

The Louisiana Community Betterment Association will sell tickets in Pike County, Mo., for the benefit of emergency responders in Louisiana.

For more information or to purchase Missouri-side tickets, please contact Diana Huckstep at 314-640-4420, Kristal Pitzer at 573-231-4477 or Maggie Neff at 314-210-8765.

The Pike County, Ill., Historical Society is working with the History Club at Pittsfield High School to sell the county’s tickets. Bob Evans, the society’s president, said sales were going “pretty well.”

The money raised will be used to subsidize the printing of a map of the county’s historical sites being created by Pittsfield High students, with any surplus going to other historical projects. The tickets, Evans said, could also serve as souvenirs of the moment in the region’s history: He set aside the first of their 500 tickets for display in the organization’s museum.

Illinois-side tickets can be bought from those students at Atlas Cafe in Atlas, Ill., Ackles Apple Acres in Pittsfield or by calling Evans at 217-491-2391.

Send questions and comments to athorp@pikecountynews.com.

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