Missouri Highway commissioners have approved a $229.5 million contract to build the main span of a new bridge over the Mississippi River at St. Louis.
Illinois transportation officials concurred.
The joint bid from Massman Construction/Traylor Brothers/Alberici Constructors was the low bid, but about $39 million more than officials had expected.
The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission met Wednesday to decide whether to accept the bid, or postpone the already long-delayed project.
Missouri transportation officials say the bridge will improve safety, relieve congestion on other spans, and promote economic growth in the region.
About $41 million in the project will go to qualified minority- or woman-owned businesses.
Officials in Missouri and Illinois have hoped to start construction on the proposed four-lane span as early as next year, with work taking four to six years.