MoDOT selects team to replace Chester Bridge The Ames Team to complete $284 million design-build project


The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission announced the selection of The Ames Team as the design-build contractor to replace the Chester Bridge. The bridge spans the Mississippi River, connecting the cities of Perryville, Missouri and Chester, Illinois via Missouri Route 51/Illinois Route 150.
“This major river bridge is vital to agricultural traffic, area industries and travelers,” said Missouri Department of Transportation Project Director Brian Okenfuss. “While the current bridge is safe, it is in poor condition. The new Chester Bridge will reduce the number of flood-related closures and better serve today’s traffic.”
The bridge will be constructed upstream from the existing structure and will be twice as wide.
“Reviewing proposals from potential design-build teams was a rigorous process, as all the teams under consideration have previously delivered great projects,” Okenfuss said.
The selected contractor team had to meet or exceed several goals including: replacing both structures (Chester Bridge and Horse Island Chute bridge) within the project budget using durable 100-year, low maintenance structure(s); providing a safe and reliable transportation solution for all modes of transportation; completing the project no later than Dec. 1, 2026 with the least impacts to all modes of transportation; and delivering the project safely while utilizing a diverse workforce.
The proposal from The Ames Team—comprised of Ames Construction Inc. and Parsons Transportation Group—was deemed to be of the apparent best value to taxpayers based on the project goals. The team will construct a three-tower, cable-stayed bridge, and completion is anticipated by the end of 2026. The new bridge will cost approximately $284 million to complete.
“We are excited to begin moving forward with The Ames Team to complete the Chester Bridge replacement project,” Okenfuss added.
Traffic will continue to use the existing structure during construction of the new Chester Bridge, and no long-term lane closures are anticipated.

The Missouri Department of Transportation held a community briefing June 2022 at the Perryville Higher Education Center. At that point, the beginning stages of preparations had started with the overall process with surveys and soil testing.
The Chester Bridge has two 11-foot lanes and carries 7,000 vehicles per day with approximately 25 percent being commercial motor vehicle traffic. It connects the cities of Chester, Illinois and Perryville, Missouri across the Mississippi River via Route 51.
The current truss bridge was originally constructed in 1942 and was re-constructed in 1944 after a severe storm destroyed the main span. The bridge has allowed motorists to travel both east and west across the Mississippi River for 80 years.
This truss bridge has 14 spans for a total length of 2,827 feet. There are two main spans of 670 feet each. The bridge accommodates two lanes of traffic and is 22 feet wide with a vertical clearance of 19 feet 6 inches.
Over the course of eight decades, the Chester Bridge has become less functional for modern vehicles. Although the bridge is safe for travel, this aging structure is considered to be in poor condition. MoDOT is continuing to monitor the bridge. The last inspection occurred in the fall 2021.
Okenfuss stressed the importance of the bridge and why it needs to be replaced.
“The Chester Bridge is not in good condition and is a vital link between Chester and Perryville,” he said.
MoDOT’s stated goal is to complete the project no later than December 1, 2026 with the least impacts to all modes of transportation.
For more information on the Chester Bridge design-build project, please visit or call MoDOT’s Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-888 ASK MODOT (275-6636).