Notice to Navigators: Upper Mississippi River

RIAC Chester Replacement Bridge, M 109.9, UMR


Anyone have comments on this one? Sounds like we’ll have more room with either option for a new Chester highway bridge.

Happy Holidays,

Bernie Heroff
Port Captain



Good afternoon.   Back in 2017, we discussed basic clearances for a new bridge with RIAC.  MODOT is ready to move forward.

Current bridge has two 650’ spans with a clearance of 103.8’ above zero for LD span and a 96.8’ clearance in RD span.  If I recall, traffic uses LD span though some northbound tows can use aux span.  Pls let me know if this info is incorrect.

At the time, my office ok’d an 800’ channel and a 500’ channel with both the LD pier and center pier being moved a minimum of 75’  out from existing piers.  That would allow new piers to be built w/o interfering with current opening and industry ends up with a wider opening.

Now they would like to proceed.

A. Vertical.  RIAC mentioned a small reduction of approx 3’ would be ok.  If still good, we would approve max of 2’ reduction.   Bridge seems to provide a lot of clearance at present.

B. Horizontal:   they would like to give bidders two options (one large span or two spans) in order to figure out most effective way forward.

  1. Two span option is the 800’ main and 500’ aux
  2. One large opening…approx 1050’ to be similar to Cape Girardeau..  We would still require LD Pier to be at least 75’ closer to the bank.

Are these both feasible?  Pls let me know.

RAIC members had a few other comments:

a. Background lighting makes picking up piers difficult sometimes…owner willing to shine white lights straight down onto new piers

b. Couple comments didn’t like Alt D2…the one furthest below existing bridge.   That Alt is off.  Bridge most likely to be immediately upstream of existing.

Thanks and Merry Christmas.

Eric Washburn, Eric A CIV USCG D8 (USA)
Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District (dwb)
1222 Spruce Street
St. Louis, MO 63103-2398
314-269-2300 ex. 2378