CHARLESTON - Mississippi County commissioners awarded the contract for building the new Four Mile Pond bridge on County Road 518 during their regular meeting Thursday.
The contract was awarded to the low bidder for the project, J.W. Githens Co. of Poplar Bluff, which offered to build the bridge for $289,918.
"He did a good job on Ten Mile Pond (bridge)," said Jim Blumenberg, presiding county commissioner. "A very good job."
"They do good work," agreed Sam Smith of Smith and Company in Poplar Bluff, the engineering firm for the project. "They sure do."
The engineer's cost estimate for the project was just a little bit below what the lowest bid came it at, according to Dennis Cox of Smith and Company.
Four other bids were submitted on the project ranging from $322,220 to $382,847.
Richard Wallace, county road and bridge superintendent, said he would haul away the trusses from the old bridge for possible sale as either scrap metal or for someone wishing to make a private scenic bridge and will rent a jackhammer for county crews to bust up and remove the concrete bridge deck.
Commissioner Martin Lucas, who is also on the Consolidated Levee and Ditch District board, said Consolidated can use the broken-up concrete at a location only 300-400 feet from the bridge.
"It'll take about a week, a week and a half," Wallace estimated for county crews to remove the old bridge.
A nameplate dated 1920 with the name of the manufacturer of the bridge trusses could be salvaged for posterity, according to Cox. "That's an easy thing to save," he said.
As it will be about 30 days before the Missouri Department of Transportation approves the bid, county crews have plenty of time to remove the old bridge before Githens arrives at the site to begin construction.
In other business during Thursday's meeting:
* The county must give the Missouri Department of Natural Resources three days notice before digging up the underground fuel tank at the county airport.
"They're supposed to get the fuel out today," Blumenberg said, referring to the SEMO Skydiving Club which until recently served as the fixed base operator for the airport.
Commissioners decided to inactivate and remove the fuel tank after being advised by DNR of a list things the county would have to do to register the tank and bring it into compliance with DNR's rules.
The 4,000 gallon tank has only been at the airport for "four years at the most," Lucas said. "It's brand new."
* Commissioners accepted the resignation of Terry McClain from the civil defense director position effective June 9 and named Brenda Bickford of Charleston as the new emergency management director which replaces the old position with expanded duties.
In his letter of resignation, McClain said that after 20 years at the post, he is ready to retire from the director's position but will continue to serve as a weather watcher.