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Missouri Department of Transportation

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Historic Bridges

Big Calumet Creek Bridge


Champ Clark (Louisiana) Bridge, K0932

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Bridge Location  
County: Pike County, Missouri and Pike County, Illinois
Road: U. S. Highway 54
Feature Crossed: Mississippi River
Other Location Information: Louisiana, Missouri
Structure Number or County Bridge Number: Bridge No. K0932
Bridge Information
Owner: MoDOT
Type: 5 Pennsylvania through truss spans

2,286’ total length, through truss spans are 312’, 314’, 418’, 314’ and 313’, there is one 25’ steel girder approach span on west end and six steel girder approach spans on the east end—98’, 95’, 95’, 96’, and 97’

Width: 20' curb-to-curb
Year Built: 1926-1928
Builder: Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron, Leavenworth, Kansas, substructure; Wisconsin Bridge & Iron, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, truss fabricator and superstructure
Current Load Rating:  
History of Modifications, Rehabilitations, etc.: rehabilitated in 1981 and 2005
Other Comments:
For further information, interested parties
may contact:
Name: Karen Daniels, Sr. Historic Preservation Specialist
Organization Missouri Department of Transportation 
Address: MoDOT Design Division, Historic Preservation Section, P.O. Box 270, Jefferson City, MO 65101
E-Mail: Karen.daniels@modot.mo.gov
Phone: 573-526-7346

Narrative Description:

The Champ Clark Bridge (K0932), also known as the Louisiana Bridge, is a five-span Pennsylvania through truss with main spans of 312-314-418-314-and 313 feet in length. There is one 25’ steel girder approach span on the west end and six steel girder approach spans on the east (Illinois) end. The bridge has a vertical clearance of 14’ 9” above the deck, and the deck is 20’ wide curb-to curb. The deck is asphalt covered concrete.


The bridge was designed by the Kansas City firm of Harrington, Howard & Ash for the Missouri-Illinois Bridge Company. The bridge was constructed as a toll bridge, and opened to traffic on May 15, 1928. It operated as a toll bridge until 1952 when the bonds that had paid for the construction were retired. The Louisiana Chamber of Commerce and the Highway 54 Coalition promoted the bridge as an alternative to the St. Louis route for travelers going from Chicago to the south and the west, arguing that it would cut an hour off of the trip by keeping them out of traffic congestion.

The bridge is named for James Beauchamp “Champ” Clark, who served in the U. S. House of Representatives between 1893-1895 and 1897-1921, including serving as Speaker of the House from 1911-1919.


The bridge is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under criterion A in the areas of commerce and transportation and under criterion C in the area of engineering.


MoDOT’s Historic Preservation Section is now accepting proposals for the relocation and reuse of the bridge, any of its main spans individually, or its components for reuse in another location. A proposal checklist is available MoDOT’s Free Bridges website (http://www.modot.org/freebridges/). Preservation covenants may accompany the bridge.


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