ST. LOUIS – April 19, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today joined U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood at the Eads Bridge in St. Louis to break ground on the new Mississippi River Bridge project. The project is expected to create more than 2,200 jobs, provide congestion relief and will spur approximately $25.3 billion in regional economic activity over the next 45 years.
“A new bridge joining Missouri and Illinois will greatly enhance safety and relieve congestion in the St. Louis metro area,” said Governor Quinn. “This project will also boost the local economy of both of our state by creating thousands of jobs for the region.”
The project is a joint undertaking by the Missouri and Illinois Departments of Transportation. Construction of the new bridge is expected to result in 2,200 direct and indirect jobs being created in the greater St. Louis Metropolitan area, with 1,200 anticipated to be Illinois-based jobs.
“St. Louis has been the center of commerce and transportation on the Mississippi River for 200 years, and this bridge will be a strong link in that vibrant network,” Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said. “Coupled with the announcement last month that development of the high-speed rail corridor to Chicago is on a fast track, St. Louis is well-positioned to thrive as a key transportation hub of the Midwest.”
The Mississippi River Bridge will provide congestion relief across the region, especially on the Poplar Street Bridge. The new bridge will be a four-lane, cable-stayed structure that will relocate Interstate 70 from the Poplar Street Bridge, which now carries I-55, I-64 and I-70. The main span contractor is a joint venture of Massman Construction, Traylor Brothers and Alberici Constructors.
“We are very excited to take part in building the first new bridge in more than 40 years to connect downtown St. Louis and southwestern Illinois,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig. “As work on the new Mississippi River Bridge advances, Illinois will continue to work diligently to ensure the success of the project.”
The estimated $667 million dollar project is funded through a combination of federal and state funds, which includes funds from the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, or SAFETEA-LU. The funding includes $313 million from Illinois, $115 million from Missouri and $239 million in federal appropriations. The project is expected to be completed by 2014.