Mississippi County commissioners discussed the project with Sam Smith, engineer for Smith and Co. of Poplar Bluff, during Thursday's county commission meeting.
Smith estimated the bridge's total cost at $397,762 and said it should take about six months to complete once the project begins.
Smith also discussed ways of reducing the county's cash share of the project from roughly $80,000 to $52,000 by the county removing the existing bridge themselves and completing other site preparation work.
Commissioners and Smith also discussed the possibility that there may be "soft money" available from a county such as Greene County through an arrangement in which future state off-systems roads bridge replacement program fund allocations are traded for cash toward a county's matching funds for a off-systems roads bridge replacement project.
Smith also complimented commissioners on the condition of Mississippi County bridges. "You guys are in better shape than anyone else I know of," said Smith.
Commissioner Homer Oliver said the commission plans to continue to replace culverts with rail car bridges when possible. The rail car bridges can be built for around $25,000 but are limited by the length of the rail cars.
Smith also agreed to look at a bridge north of Wilson City on County Highway 208 to see if it could be widened slightly by placing an H-beam alongside the existing bridge and anchoring them together.
Oliver explained the larger combines in use today need about an extra foot to allow them to cross the bridge without the edges of their tires hanging off the sides.
In other county commission business:
* Don Chance, jail administrator, said he was waiting on utility companies to locate lines before modifications to the exterior recreation area at the jail can be completed.
The columns to support a covering to be added to the fenced-in area are slated to be placed Wednesday, Chance said.
In other Mississippi County Detention Center business, Chance said the Immigration and Naturalization Service had instructed them to isolate the two Arab INS prisoners for their safety.
Chance said the two prisoners are of the Muslim belief but denounced Tuesday's terrorist attacks.
* Repairs on the port road have been completed. Blacktop ramps to the bridge were extended as well for a smoother transition, according to county officials.
* Replacements for two openings on the county planning and zoning board are being sought following the resignations of Bob Munson from the Wolf Island township and Wayne Corse of the Ohio township.
In other planning and zoning board business, commissioners discussed large aerial maps ordered from Rolla which will provide a clearer view of structures within the various townships.
* As the cost for blacktop laid for Bertrand by the county was lower than anticipated, Bertrand will be billed at 32 cents per square foot instead of 36.