Local Leaders Call for New Bridge at Summit

Local Leaders Call for New Bridge at Summit
By: Holly Brantley
SIKESTON, Mo. - Thousands travel bridges crossing the Mississippi River between Birds Point and Cairo, and over the Ohio River between Cairo and Ballard County everyday. But are these two structures safe?
Local leaders like Sikeston Mayor Mike Marshall say: No.
"We saw what happened in Minnesota.  People lost their lives," said Marshall. "We don't want that to happen here."
Local leaders from Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky met in Sikeston Tuesday evening to discuss safety concerns.  A large crowd packed the Clinton Building, and many local mayors and other officials stood up in support of building a new bridge.  They hope the meeting will shed light on safety concerns and show legislatures the Heartland is committed to building a new bridge.
"They are just too narrow," said Marshall. "We did research and discovered the bridge over the Mississippi between Birds Point and Cairo has one of the lowest ratings of any bridge crossing that river."
Mayor Marshall, and Jo Ann Emerson's Chief of Staff Lloyd Smith both say one bridge could replace the existing two.  Smith says the bridge could run between Missouri and Kentucky.
Meanwhile, leaders know building a new bridge is easier said than done.  Money for a new bridge could come from a variety of sources, including federal funding.
"We hope our state and federal politicians realize this is something we need," said Director of Economic Development Ed Dust.
Marshall says they hope to see action from Washington D.C. as soon as possible.