Champ Clark Bridge work causing detours and headaches

If you cross the Champ Clark Bridge on a regular basis, this week’s inspections are a reminder of why a new bridge is being built.

Drivers are ready for it because they say the detours have been causing headaches for years. 

The annual inspection this week has three MoDOT teams out on the bridge doing maintenance repairs to the deck and patching certain areas because the steel continues to deteriorate.

Drivers now have to drive on the detour route and it’s still causing problems for everyday travel.

It’s a familiar site for a lot of drivers going through Louisiana, Missouri, detour signs alerting them of the bridge closure.

Out of towners like Lois Moore had issues. 

"I depend on my GPS for everything and it deposited me here at the road closure sign and now I am looking around and don’t know what to do," Moore said. 

Moore was traveling back to Springfield, Illinois and this road closure added close to an hour more to her travel. 

"I’m trying not to be annoyed but it is what it is, it’s a pleasant misadventure," Moore said. 

Bridge inspections are expected to last all week, MoDOT engineer Travis Wombwell said crews do this on an annual basis because of its age. 

"We are looking all the gusset plates, the connections, the steel, make sure it’s not rusted too much. We are making sure that it will be safe for another year," Wombwell said.  

Clay Logan lives in Louisiana and said this inspection is needed because it can get dangerous. 

"We call that a mirror farm out there," Logan said. "The side-mirrors get knocked off trucks, RVs, and it’s a little too tight for comfort." 

This is a reminder that a new bridge would make a big difference and drivers are ready for the maintenance work to end. 

"It’ll be a blessing for a lot of folks in that it won’t be impacted by floods, it will be a big benefit," Logan said. 

"We are thankful and grateful that they fix it, because we vacation to the Ozarks a lot during the summer." Moore said. 

Detours will be taking place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the next two work weeks.

Drivers must use alternate routes during road closures and be alert for crews in a work zone.

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