SE Bridge Competition 2020

MoDOT Tests Bridges, Names Winners of the 17th Annual Bridge Building Competition

Chaffee, Oak Ridge & Ste. Genevieve 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 today (Dec. 10) at the completion of MoDOT’s 17th Annual Bridge Building Competition. The competition challenges high school juniors and seniors to design and construct the most efficient model bridge using limited materials—30 pieces of balsa wood, thread and glue.

Chaffee, Oak Ridge, and Ste. Genevieve 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 – Kalie Compas– Notre Dame
  • 2nd – Paige Schaefer – Chaffee
  • 3rd – Andrew Livingston – Chaffee
  • 4th – Leah Gihring – homeschooled from Oak Ridge
  • 5th – Reagan Froemsdorf – Oak Ridge

Other awards included the most aesthetic bridge presented to Katelyn Fuller of Ste. Genevieve High School.

Prize donations and supply sponsorships have been made possible by the following businesses and organizations: SE Chapter Transportation Employee Association of Missouri, Three Rivers College, Southeast Chapter of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers, Bacon Farmer Workman Engineering and Testing, and the Southeast Coalition for Roadway Safety.

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

Since this year’s competition was held virtually, the Southeast Coalition for Roadway Safety and Missouri State Highway Patrol partnered with the Bridge Building Competition team to offer participating high school students a chance to win prizes through the SE Coalition’s Facebook page. For more information or to watch the highway safety video, please visit

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