Waiting game for Champ Clark Bridge following rejection of Amendment 7

Missouri voters rejected Amendment 7 Tuesday.

Missouri voters rejected Amendment 7 Tuesday.

Amendment 7 would've increased the state's sales tax by three-quarters-of-a-cent, generating more than $500 million a year over a decade for transportation projects. Northeast Missouri would've received $195 million of that amount.

For the past nine years Nancy Evans has owned a local business just over the Champ Clark Bridge.

Owning your own business can be hard enough, but when you need to cross a bridge that has holes in it and frequently floods, it can be even tougher.

"It was a big disappointment, we, um, are desperately in need of a new bridge over the Mississippi, we had a fatal accident over there a few years ago, um, and I kind of say a prayer every time I go across it," Evans said.

Although she hoped for Amendment 7 to pass, she says she thinks it was people in the big cities that voted against the Amendment, because they aren't affected by these bridges on a day to day basis.

Mayor of Louisiana, Bart Niedner says for an amendment like this to succeed, people need to be educated on how everyone is interconnected, and how this ultimately will effect more than just the people who live close to these bridges.

"If we can't support our small rural communities and the agricultural industry in Missouri, we become less competitive and that's going to effect St. Charles, St. Louis, Kansas City, in a lot of ways," Mayor Niedner said.

Putting temporary fixes on these bridges is only kicking the problem down the road, which will ultimately increase the maintenance cost of the project. And for Nancy, the problems with the bridge will continue to effect her business.

"I have a large number of people that come from Illinois shopping, and they can't get across the bridge, and during flood times I definitely notice a big decrease in, in travelers and people coming into the store," Evans said.

But don't cross the bridge off of the list of possible projects.

The Missouri Department of Transportation says it's still a top priority but depends on funding.

By the way, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander announced the unofficial voter turnout in Tuesday's primary election was 24.58 percent.

Story by KHQA Multimedia Journalist Lauren Kalil.