Plans in place to replace Chester Bridge

PERRYVILLE, Mo. (KBSI) – For 80 years, the Chester Bridge has connected Chester, Ill., and Perryville, Mo.

But the time has come to replace it.

Replacing the bridge will take years, but Project Director Brian Okenfuss said it is a necessary undertaking.

“The Chester Bridge has been in poor condition for a while, so we knew we needed to start the process of replacing the bridge,” he said. “We started an environmental assessment back in 2017, and now we’ve finally gotten to the stage where we’re ready to start construction.”

The project uses the design-build delivery method. This means the Missouri Department of Transportation will accept proposals from contractors, and then once MoDOT selects the most advantageous proposal, that contractor will then begin the project.

Okenfuss gave a timeline for what that process will look like.

“Right now we’re putting together a request for proposal that will go out in late August or early September. We would select an Apparent Best Value proposal in March of 2023 and then start construction sometime in Spring or Summer 2023,” he said.

Okenfuss said there was a pleasant reception at MoDOT’s community briefing in Perryville on Thursday.

“People in the community have been waiting for a new bridge for a while,” he said. “We finally have been able to secure the funding and line up all the pieces. The public is excited to get a new and wider bridge.”

The new bridge is expected to be completed by December 2026.

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