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For more information about the bridge, please contact Senior Historic Preservation Specialist Karen Daniels at (573) 526-7346 or Karen.Daniels@modot.mo.gov or visit www.modot.org/freebridges.

September 12, 2017 04:05 PM
Chester Bridge Available for Relocation, Reuse
Proposals for Bridge Due by Dec. 31

SIKESTON - The historic Route 51 Chester Bridge over the Mississippi River is available for relocation and reuse by others. The bridge extends from Perry County, Mo., to Randolph County, Ill.

Any interested party is encouraged to submit a proposal no later than Dec. 31, 2018, to the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Historic Preservation Section.

Proposals for relocation and reuse are being accepted as part of the Chester Bridge Environmental Assessment. MoDOT and IDOT are currently studying various bridge improvement alternatives, including both rehabilitation and replacement. If MoDOT and IDOT proceed with rehabilitation instead of replacement, the Chester Bridge will not be available for donation.

This bridge could be obtained by government entities, historical or civic groups, or private citizens. Details can be viewed online at www.modot.org/freebridges. Anyone interested in obtaining a historic bridge must submit a detailed proposal describing the dismantling and relocation plan, cost and future use. A proposal checklist is available online.

The Chester Bridge was constructed by the City of Chester to connect Illinois and Missouri. In the late 1930s, city governmental and business leaders formed a committee to oversee the effort, which would construct a toll bridge to connect the developing highway systems in Illinois and Missouri.

The Chester Bridge is a continuous Warren through truss bridge with polygonal top chord. It has a total length of 2,827 feet and width of 22 feet. Construction of the bridge was completed in 1942.

In 1944, a strong windstorm, possibly a tornado, struck the bridge and the two main spans were destroyed. Reconstruction and repair of the bridge took two years to complete, and the bridge reopened Aug. 24, 1946.

The bridge operated as a toll bridge until Dec. 31, 1988.

The bridge is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under criteria C for local significance in engineering. The bridge is an excellent example of large scale bridge engineering required for major river crossings.

For more information about the bridge, please contact Senior Historic Preservation Specialist Karen Daniels at (573) 526-7346 or Karen.Daniels@modot.mo.gov or visit www.modot.org/freebridges.

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