Local bridge closed for a year

The Mississippi River, US 60 bridge is closed to traffic and will stay closed a year for repairs. The bridge connects Alexander County, Illinois with Mississippi County, Missouri.

According to an Illinois Department of Transportation spokesperson the bridge needs to be closed to repair more than 60 floor beams.

Some of that traffic will be diverted through the town of Cairo. Those in the town hope that it will bring new life to their city.

Roger Rushing remembers a prospering Cairo from the 1950’s. “If you would have told me Cairo was going to be like this now I wouldn’t have believed you,” said Rushing.

He says the last time Cairo showed promise was when the Mississippi River bridge closed in 2012.

Cairo City Mayor Tyrone Coleman says his city has worked hard to combat a stereotype. “People who stop in here they  hear certain things about Cairo that’s negative,” said Coleman.

But he hopes that with more people traveling and stopping through the town, businesses will increase during that time.

“Once they’ve come here and gotten the right information they leave with a different thought about Cairo,” said Coleman.

The only drawback is they don’t have a truck stop, so they know the truck drivers are less likely to stop.

The bridge is scheduled to re-open March 18, 2016.

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