A major necessity on the border of Morgan and Pike Counties is now finished.
The new Meredosia Highway 104 bridge opened for traffic service yesterday. Before it opened a large group of spectators, as well as groups tasked with completing the project and IDOT officials, were on hand for a press conference to officially commemorate the opening. The new bridge over the Illinois river will serve as replacement to a bridge built back in 1936. Illinois State Secretary of Transportation Randy Blankenhorn acted as the master of ceremonies. Blankenhorn spoke first during the conference in regards to the benefits this new bridge will offer to Meredosia and the surrounding communities.
“This structure that we stand on today represents IDOT and the Governor’s commitment to building a 21st century transportation system of infrastructure that will drive the economic future of Illinois. As part of this 86 million dollar investment, we’ve delivered two 12 foot travel lanes and two 10 foot shoulders, which will allow farm equipment and oversize loads to cross the bridge without stopping traffic heading in the opposite direction. A new pump station, an underground storm-water retention chamber, will manage stormwater flooding and runoff. A resurfaced Illinois 104 through Meredosia, and finally improvements to street-scapes and park areas that will enhance Meredosia’s business district.”
State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer spoke briefly to applaud the efforts of everyone involved in the process of completing this bridge for their service to the community.
“This is a huge investment in our entire region. We’re gonna keep projects and jobs coming through here. It amazes me everyday that we as humans can build a structure such as this.”
Project Superintendent Scott Halverson, of Halverson Construction Company in Springfield, says a couple of projects not directly incorporated into the bridge but still part of IDOT’s US-67 Corridor Project will be completed in the coming weeks to finalize work on site.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do on the city-scaping and the pump house, but having the traffic switch is a big deal and a big monument in our timeline.”
The new bridge is just over four tenths of a mile long, with the main span of the bridge over the Illinois river extending almost 600 feet. The roadway is 44 feet wide, for two driving lanes and two 12 foot driving lanes and two 10 foot shoulders. The final cost of the entire project was 86.2 million dollars. The previous bridge will be demolished later this summer.