Preferred Site Announced for New Chester Bridge
The preferred site for a new Mississippi River bridge at Chester is near the present structure.
The Chester Bridge Route 51 Environmental Study reports the preferred alternative site will be built about 75 to 100 feet upstream from the present bridge.
Jason Williams is the Missouri Department of Transportation's contract engineer on the project. He says this site was chosen because it meets all the navigation and Coast Guard requirements along with being the least disruptive to the barge industry and the public.
"Building a new bridge upstream would obviously leave old bridge in service so that there was no loss of service and folks would have the ability to cross the river while the bridge is being constructed. It also allows for the safe demolition and a minimal impact to the boat traffic below during the demolition of the bridge."
The public will be able to review the materials supporting the new bridge location on the website or at the Chester public library by appointment.
The public comment period will conclude on May 17.
The Chester bridge was built in 1942 and reconstructed in 1944. Officials have determined the present bridge is now in poor condition and too narrow by today’s design standards. The proposed new bridge would be almost twice as wide as the current structure.
Construction could start in 2025 or 2026 if funding sources are found.