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City officials work to find the best route for a new Memorial Bridge

There are new discussions on what to do next on the aging Memorial Bridge. Around 9,000 vehicles cross the bridge from Missouri into Illinois everyday. 

The bridge was built back in the 1930s and is currently listed as structurally deficient by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

"It is deteriorating rapidly." said Quincy Planning and Development Director Chuck Bevelheimer. 

Officials are looking at several different options. One would have the bridge span from Missouri to Broadway Street at a price tag of about $150 million. 

"That was attributed to the length of the bridge and the curve in the bridge," said Bevelheimer.

Another option would have the bridge go from Missouri to York Street for about $100 million.

"That pushes the traffic two blocks south which means that now we have to manage that traffic through the downtown," said Bevelheimer.

If the York Street option is chosen, city officials say semis would no longer have the challenge of making it up the hill from the end of the bridge to 3rd Street. It’s a problem drivers have noticed. 

"That would be much better for the truckers because they stop there and it’s really hard to get up that steep incline," said Quincy driver Debra Ohnemus. "If it’s flatter, it would be a lot better for them."

Another driver says shifting the new bridge south could impact Maine Street businesses. 

"The businesses are going to be hurting," said Quincy driver Katie Fenn. "It might help some of the gas stations down there and some of the restaurants but Maine Street is going to hurt bad."

Bevelheimer says the city has now requested a traffic study on York Street, from 3rd to 4th Street because they’re hoping to eventually change the one way traffic on 3rd and 4th making it bi-directional.  Bevelheimer says IDOT wants to start on a new bridge in the next five years. 

The Missouri Department of Transportation and the Illinois Department of Transportation will use federal funding to split the cost 50/50 on the Memorial Bridge project. 

Click here to see the worst bridges in the Tri-States. 

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