Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge

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Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge
Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge.jpg
Carries 4 lanes of Route 34 / Route 74/ IL 146
Crosses Mississippi River
Locale Cape Girardeau, Missouri and East Cape Girardeau, Illinois
Design Cable-stayed bridge
Total length 3,955 feet (1,205 m)
Width 94 feet (29 m)
Longest span 1,149 feet (350 m)
Clearance below 60 feet (18 m)
Opened December 13, 2003
Coordinates 37°17′43″N 89°30′57″W / 37.29528°N 89.51583°W / 37.29528; -89.51583

The Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge connecting Missouri's Route 34 and Route 74 with Illinois Route 146 across the Mississippi River between Cape Girardeau, Missouri and East Cape Girardeau, Illinois.

Old Cape Girardeau Bridge with replacement under construction, 1997.

It was built just south of its predecessor, the Cape Girardeau Bridge, which was completed in 1928 and demolished in 2004. Prior to its destruction, it was documented for the Library of Congress Historic American Engineering Record Survey number HAER MO-84.

The bridge is named after Bill Emerson, a Missouri politician who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 until his death in 1996. Planning for the four-lane structure began in June 1987, and construction began in late 1996. Several factors have been blamed for the bridge's many delays in planning and construction, including Illinois' reluctance to participate in the project, as well as issues with the bedrock of the river.

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Bill Emerson Bridge at night.