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Gila's Place

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The bridge connecting Illinois and Missouri at Chester has scared the devil out of me since I was a small child. My kids always loved crossing it on the way back to see family. Me, I always held my breath all the way across. Sometimes, I still do. It should have been replaced years ago but it wasn’t until recently the two states came to an agreement on who would foot the bill. Money and responsibility have been the issue, over safety, all of these years.

Certainly, throughout the years, parts of the bridge have fallen away to the point that you could see the river below due to loss of decking. You could see the rebar remaining where the concrete had long since dropped in the river. Many patches have been applied over the years as the two states bickered but it just falls apart faster now than they can repair it.

No one has a choice anymore.

Construction almost always starts with destruction and that started with the clearing and burning in June all on the Missouri side of the river. I watched this same process south of Chester as they demoed and replaced the bridge at Cape Girardeau, Mo. My damaged hard drive holds the images to that project, but that’s another story.

The following images were taken June 22, 2023 mostly on the Missouri side from the levy with a couple of drive by’s on the bridge.

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