The Chester Bridge has two 11-foot lanes and carries 7,000 vehicles per day. It connects the cities of Chester, Illinois and Perryville, Missouri across the Mississippi River via Route 51.
The current truss bridge was originally constructed in 1942 and was re-constructed in 1944 after a severe storm destroyed the main span. The bridge has allowed motorists to travel both east and west across the Mississippi River for 80 years.
Over the course of eight decades, the Chester Bridge has become less functional for modern vehicles. Although the bridge is safe for travel, this aging structure is considered to be in poor condition. MoDOT is continuing to monitor the bridge. The last inspection occurred in fall 2021.
The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission approved an amendment to the FY2022-2026 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program to fund the Chester Bridge Replacement Project (J9P3857) during its meeting on Sept. 9, 2021. In addition, the MHTC approved the Southeast District's proposal to complete the Chester Bridge Replacement Project using the design-build project delivery method. The design-build method will allow industry input on both the design and construction of this work.
- Replace both structures within the project budget using durable 100-year, low maintenance structure(s).
- Provide a safe and reliable transportation solution for all modes of transportation.
- Complete the project no later than December 1, 2026 with the least impacts to all modes of transportation.
- Deliver the project safely while utilizing a diverse workforce.
Addendum 1: Updated July 12, 2022
Chester Bridge Rehab Project
Work to rehabilitate the Chester Bridge is underway. The bridge spans the Mississippi River, connecting the cities of Perryville, Missouri and Chester, Illinois via MO Route 51/IL Route 150.
The maintenance project includes pavement rehab and some minor structural steel repairs.
Currently, Route 51 is reduced to one lane with a 10-foot width restriction in the vicinity of the bridge. Temporary signals are in place to guide motorists through the work zone. The width restriction means large equipment is unable to cross the bridge during the rehab project.
Although the structure is safe for travel, it is in poor condition. The rehab work will help improve the existing bridge as the project team prepares for the Chester Bridge replacement project. Completion of the rehab work is anticipated Thursday, Dec. 7, weather permitting.
MoDOT Shortlists Four Teams for Chester Bridge Design-Build Project
The Missouri Department of Transportation has received Statements of Qualification from potential design-build teams for the Chester Bridge project, which will replace the Route 51 bridge over the Mississippi River. This major river bridge connects the cities of Perryville, Missouri and Chester, Illinois.
The SOQs have been evaluated, and four teams have been prequalified to proceed.
Visit the link below to learn more about the Chester Bridge. This provides an in-depth look at some of the most frequently asked questions regarding what’s next and the proposed replacement project.
The Chester Bridge is a truss bridge originally constructed in 1942 to allow vehicles to cross the Mississippi River between Perryville, Missouri and Chester, Illinois without using a ferry.
Stay up-to-date on the next steps for the Chester Bridge by signing up to receive email updates! To subscribe, click the link below and select the option for the Chester Bridge under the Southeast District.
For More Information
Chester Bridge Project Director
Chester Bridge Deputy Project Director