LOUISIANA, Mo. – Demolition crews spent Friday morning and afternoon meticulously checking and double-checking the charges on the Old Champ Clark Bridge, making sure the steel truss bridge would fall into the Mississippi River.
They’ll have 48 hours to clear the steel from the river channel so that it can open back up to traffic.
The Champ Clark Bridge, named after Hames Beauchamp Clark, has brought thousands of people from Central Illinois to Central Missouri since the 1920s.
Louisiana City Councilman Bob Ringhausen called it “the lifeblood” of both regions, linking, in essence, Chicago, Illinois to El Paso, Texas.
“In 1927, construction started and (the bridge) opened in 1928,” said Charles Cogar, owner of the Great River Road Bed & Breakfast. “The western-most span during construction fell into the river and two workers were killed. Kind of a scary ride; it’s a very, very narrow bridge.”