Louisiana residents, MoDOT talk improvements for Champ Clark Bridge

The Champ Clark Bridge needs upgrades, and a sales tax increase could help

The Champ Clark Bridge outside of Louisiana, Missouri needs to be fixed.

"The bridge was built in the 1930s, it's one of the last older river crossings that are from that area in Missouri," MoDOT Engineer Kevin James said.

If Missouri's proposed three-quarter-cent sales tax increase, known as Amendment 7, passes, the bridge will see a $60 million dollar overhaul.

"The longer the bridge is out there it becomes a financial burden, and it also has some issues on it where the narrow bridge causes problems when large vehicles try to pass one another," James added.

An open house was held by the Missouri Department of Transportation at Louisiana City Hall on Wednesday.

It allowed the community to give input on the proposed sales tax increase.

Leon Reeves lives in Louisiana and drives over the Champ Clark Bridge frequently.

"We need a new bridge here, we need it bad," he said.

He added that he's never in favor of a sales tax increase, but he still wanted to attend the open house to get more information.

"We just want to know where our tax dollars are going and keep up highways," Reeves said.

If voters approve Amendment 7, they will see a new bridge and improved roadways within the next 10 years.

It will help sustain the beauty Reeves sees in Missouri.

"Missouri's got a lot of beautiful highways," he said, then added with a smirk, "you should travel to Colorado, or Tennessee, or Arkansas, you'd appreciate Missouri."

Residents will vote on the tax hike August 5.