SE Bridge Competition 2019

MoDOT Tests Bridges, Names Winners of the 16th Annual Bridge Building Competition

Oak Ridge, Ste. Genevieve & Hartville High Schools Take ‘Top Three’

After weeks of work to build the most efficient model bridges, Southeast Missouri high school students put their bridges to the test today (Nov. 21) at the completion of MoDOT’s 16th 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.

Oak Ridge, Ste. Genevieve and Hartville 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 – Esteban Martinez – East Prairie
  • 2nd – Skylar Ponder – Oak Ridge
  • 3rd – Leah Gihring – homeschool
  • 4th – Issac Moore – Oak Ridge
  • 5th – Abigail Dillon – Naylor

Other awards included the most aesthetic bridge presented to Charles Finley of Ste. Genevieve High School and the computer-based electronic bridge award presented to Logan Hoffman of Oak Ridge High School.

Prize donations and supply sponsorships have been made possible by the following businesses and organizations: SE Chapter Transportation Employee Association of Missouri, Southeast Missouri State University, Three Rivers Community College, Southeast Missouri State University Department of Engineering & Technology, 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 were on hand during the competition to discuss the importance of buckling-up.

For more information, please contact Senior Highway Designer Anita Clark ( or Senior Highway Designer Gretchen Hanks ( at (573) 472-5294. Additional information is available at