SE Bridge Competition 2017

MoDOT Tests Bridges, Names Winners of the 14th Annual Bridge Building Competition

Ste. Genevieve, Oak Ridge and Chaffee High Schools Take Top Three

SIKESTON—After weeks of work to build the most efficient model bridges, Southeast Missouri high school students put their bridges to the test Nov. 16 at the completion of MoDOT’s 14th Annual Bridge Building Competition. The competition challenges high school juniors and seniors to design and construct the most efficient model bridge using limited materials—15 pieces of balsa wood, thread and glue.

Ste. Genevieve, Oak Ridge and Chaffee High Schools received first, second and third place for best overall performance, respectively. These schools received cash prizes donated by the SE Chapter Transportation Employee Association of Missouri.

In addition, five students were recognized for building the lightest bridges that carried the greatest loads. Winners included:

  • 1st – Jacob Thomure – Ste. Genevieve
  • 2nd – Taylor Bolin – Oak Ridge
  • 3rd – Jordan Weibrecht – Ste. Genevieve
  • 4th – Conner Bock – Oak Ridge
  • 5th – Trenton Gramlisch – Chaffee

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    Other awards included the most aesthetic bridge presented to Morgan Merrill of Sikeston High School and the computer-based electronic bridge award presented to Fadel Alkilani of Sikeston High School.

    Prize donations and supply sponsorships have been made possible by the following organizations: SE Chapter Transportation Employee Association of Missouri, Southeast Missouri State University, Three Rivers Community College, Cape Area Engineers Club, Southeast Physics & Engineering Club, Southeast Chapter of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers and the Southeast Coalition for Roadway Safety. 

    MoDOT also partnered with Arkansas State University, Southeast Missouri State University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, University of Missouri-Columbia and Southern Illinois University to offer seniors interested in civil engineering up to $10,000 in scholarships.

    The Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Southeast Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety attended the competition to discuss the importance of buckling-up with the Seat Belt Convincer, which simulates how it feels to be in a traffic crash.

    For more information, please contact Senior Highway Designer Anita Clark at (573) 472-5294, Senior Highway Designer Gretchen Hanks at (573) 472-5294 or MoDOT's Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-888 ASK MODOT (275-6636). Photos from the competition are available at