Marion County's latest bridge project is making good progress, according to Lyndon Bode, presiding commissioner, who on Monday morning provided an update on the work in the northwest corner of the county.

Marion County’s latest bridge project is making good progress, according to Lyndon Bode, presiding commissioner, who on Monday morning provided an update on the work in the northwest corner of the county.

“The bridge replacement project is moving along very well,” said Bode. “The new bridge pilings and footings have been completed. The bridge project is nearing the halfway point with a planned completion in September.”

The new Wenneker Bridge is located near the small town of Nelsonville on County Road 104 near the Lewis and Shelby County lines.

When completed the new Wenneker Bridge will be able to accommodate two lanes of traffic.

“It will be able to handle most farm machinery,” said Bode.

The previous bridge, which was constructed in 1925, was extremely narrow and had a 13-ton weight limit.

The new bridge is being built by Sharp Excavating LLC of Perry, Mo. Sharp was awarded the project by the County Commission on June 5 after it submitted the lone sub-$200,000 bid of $193,560.75.

MECO Engineering, which handled the bridge design and is performing the project’s inspection work, had estimated the project’s cost at $239,928.80.

This bridge replacement project is like none the county has sought funding for previously since the span to be replaced - on County Road 104 - is not in the same location as the span for which the county will use federal and state compensation - on County Road 117. The 124-foot County Road 117 bridge was swept away during July 2015 flooding.

The County Commission proposed using federal compensation to help pay for the new County Road 104 bridge because the daily traffic volume across the County Road 117 span was low, and the projected cost of replacing the bridge ($800,000 and $1 million) was high.

Funding for the new bridge is coming from multiple sources. Approximately $99,000 will be directly paid by Marion County through its 3/8 cent Capital Improvements Sales Tax. Approximately $83,500 is coming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Approximately another $11,000 is being contributed by the State Emergency Management Agency.

Because the County Commission had already identified the County Road 104 bridge as a priority span to be replaced, regardless of the availability of federal funds, MECO Engineering had already been doing design work on the new structure. That helped reduce lag time between when the bid was awarded and the start of construction.

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com