Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission, in concurrence with Illinois DOT, awards contract to build main span of bridge from St. Louis to Illinois.

The Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission has awarded the Mississippi River Bridge main span contract to a joint venture of Massman Construction/Traylor Brothers/Alberici Constructors for $229.5 million.

The decision was made with concurrence from the Illinois Department of Transportation.

"We're excited to be moving forward with this needed project," said Kevin Keith, P.E., the Missouri Department of Transportation's Chief Engineer. "The important thing to remember is this bridge dramatically improves safety, relieves congestion on the Poplar Street Bridge and provides alternate routes through the region.  Additionally, the overall bridge project will promote economic growth regionally."

The lowest bid for the main span contract was about $39 million higher than expected.

Additional funding comes from savings on the overall river bridge project, $11 million from the I-64 construction project and bond savings.

"We anticipate some significant savings on the remaining portions of the project from innovative value engineering concepts," said Gregory Horn, Mississippi River Bridge project director. "These concepts helped us design a bridge that met the regional requirements for traffic flow and safety, while providing excellent value to the taxpayers of Missouri and Illinois."

The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) goal for the new Mississippi River Bridge main span is 18%. This aggressive goal means approximately 18% of the money the prime contractor gets for the project ­ more than $41 million ­ will be paid to minority- or woman-owned businesses. This goal is based on the availability and willingness of certified DBE companies to accomplish certain tasks on the project.

Since the construction of the main span is very specialized, the goal required the contractor to be innovative and expand their use of DBE companies.

Additionally, MoDOT and IDOT have included a possible $3.5-million incentive to encourage the contractor to be socially and environmentally responsible, with the desire that this will increase overall diversity throughout the project.