MoDOT selects team to replace Chester Bridge

A new and improved way to cross the Mississippi River, tying Illinois and Missouri, is being built to replace the aging Chester bridge
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 1:13 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 9, 2023 at 6:13 PM CST
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SIKESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - The Chester Bridge that connects Missouri and Illinois will be replaced as the Missouri Department of Transportation announced the team in charge of the project.

On Wednesday, March 8, the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission announced they have selected the Ames Team as the team to replace the Chester Bridge. The bridge spans the Mississippi River, connecting Perryville, Mo. and Chester, Ill.

The bridge will be constructed upstream from the existing structure and will be twice as wide as the original. MoDOT Project Director Brian Okenfuss said that choosing a team was more difficult than thought as all of them had great history with previous projects.

“Reviewing proposals from potential design-build teams was a rigorous process, as all the teams under consideration have previously delivered great projects,” Okenfuss said.

The selected contractor team had to meet or exceed several goals including replacing both structures within the project budget using durable 100-year, low maintenance structures; providing a safe and reliable transportation solution for all modes of transportation; completing the project no later than December 1, 2026 with the least impacts to all modes of transportation; and delivering the project safely while utilizing a diverse workforce.

The proposal from The Ames Team, comprised of Ames Construction Inc. and Parsons Transportation Group, was deemed to be of the apparent best value to taxpayers based on the project goals. The team will construct a three-tower, cable-stayed bridge, and completion is anticipated by the end of 2026. The new bridge will cost approximately $284M to complete.

The current truss bridge was originally constructed in 1942. Approximately 7,000 vehicles use the bridge daily. Traffic will continue to use the existing structure during construction of the new Chester Bridge, and no long-term lane closures are anticipated.