Mississippi Bridge opens ahead of schedule

Repairs on a bridge connecting two of our Local 6 states finished five months ahead of schedule. The U.S. 60/62 Bridge, which connects Illinois and Missouri, officially reopens Tuesday.

The Illinois Department of Transportation closed it in March for major repairs, and said it would take a year to complete.

IDOT says the contractor finished sooner the expected.

During the closure, commuters like Tim Bass had to make a detour through Cairo, Illinois. Bass says he’s relieved to hear it’s opening up sooner.

“It’ll be a lot better. I mean, you don’t have to go through Cairo, and worry about speeding tickets, you know, stuff like that,” Bass said.

The inconvenience of the bridge closure has turned into a bit of a benefit for some businesses in Cairo IL.

Employees at the Dollar General in Cairo say after the closure more people have stopped at the store to ask for directions and have also made purchases. It’s exactly what travelers Judy Andreosky and Marie Pigeon did. They’re heading to California from North Carolina.

“We were concerned that we weren’t going in the right direction, because I didn’t know they were taking us through Illinois,” Andreosky said.

The two stopped at the store to ask for help and got supplies to continue their trip Monday afternoon.

Cairo’s mayor says he saw a noticeable difference in traffic during the bridge closure, especially from semis. He says he’s glad for the community it’s open because it will make their commutes easier. 

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