CHARLESTON - Conservation agents may cry fowl, but bridge construction must go on.
Mississippi County commissioners agreed during their regular meeting Thursday to proceed on the replacement of the Four Mile Pond Bridge on County Road 518 as proposed by the project's engineers, Smith and Company of Poplar Bluff.
"We're going to do it," said Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg.
Smith and Company estimated the cost for a 110-foot long, 24-foot wide bridge will be $397,683 although the actual cost will depend on the contractor bids.
Most of the money will come from the Missouri Department of Transportation's Off Systems Bridge Replacement Program which allocates funds for counties based on their square footage of deficient bridges.
Based on the engineer's figures, the county will contribute a cash match of $28,966 and $50,570 worth of work on the project.
The bridge project still needs final approval from MoDOT, according to commissioners. Once approved, the county will then seek bids for the bridge's construction.
Blumenberg said a conservation agent recently expressed concerns about the construction taking place during water fowl season: "He said it will disturb them." Water fowl season runs from November through the end of February, he said.
"We're going to be working," Blumenberg predicted, but Commissioner Martin Lucas said he thinks the project won't start that soon. "I think water fowl season will be over," he said.
In other Mississippi County business:
* Tom Walpole of East Prairie was appointed by commissioners to replace Jack Tucker on the Senior Citizens Advisory Council.
Tucker moved away, according to commissioners, and Walpole has recently returned to this area after living in Alaska for the past 10 or 11 years.
* Commissioners hired K&H Tree Service of Bertrand to remove some old, dying trees at the Oak Grove Cemetery.
"Two big oaks and another tree," Blumenberg said.
As K&H Tree Service offered to remove the trees for only $500, commissioners decided to not put the job up for bids.
The county will assist by having the limb chipper on hand, and the price does not include removing the stumps.
* The county is finished laying cold-mix asphalt for this season, according to Blumenberg, although the chip-and-seal blacktopping will still continue around the county.
Commissioners also discussed removing several collapsed culverts around the county.
* Commissioners agreed to sell a 1954 Dodge Cargo Truck that has been kept by the Road and Bridge Department.
The three-quarter ton four-wheel drive vehicle probably only gets 2-3 miles per gallon, officials estimated.
Blumenberg said duck hunters may be interested in the vehicle as it will go just about anywhere. "We just need to get rid of it," Blumenberg said.