APRIL 15, 2004 - Posted at 11:51 a.m. CDT
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO - The old Mississippi River bridge at this southeast Missouri town will come down later this year, but only after demolition crews work around the spawning season of an endangered fish.
The Missouri Highway & Transportation Commission yesterday awarded a $1.2 million demolition contract to Midwest Foundation Corporation of Tremont, Illinois. The narrow two-lane structure was closed in December when the new Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge opened.
Demolition work could begin in May and finish by the end of the year. But no part of the bridge can be dropped into the river before August 1 because of U.S. Fish & Wildlife regulations.
The endangered pallid sturgeon is believed to live near the bridge, and the demolition work cannot disrupt the spawning season.