The opening of a new Marion County bridge will be celebrated Monday, Oct. 26, when a ribbon is cut on the See's Creek bridge, located in the central part of the county. The brief ceremony to which the public is invited is expected to commence at 11:30 a.m.

The opening of a new Marion County bridge will be celebrated Monday, Oct. 26, when a ribbon is cut on the See's Creek bridge, located in the central part of the county. The brief ceremony to which the public is invited is expected to commence at 11:30 a.m.

The new bridge was expected to receive an inspection from Missouri Department of Transportation on Wednesday, Oct. 21, although it was noted during Monday's County Commission meeting that the structure, located on County Road 240 between Monroe City and Palmyra, has already been opened to traffic.

The county's share of cost for the project comes to $141,477. That amount covers the fees of the project's general contractor — Sharp Excavating of Perry, Mo., ($137,331) — and MECO Engineering ($4,146), which provided inspections during the construction.

Teya Slice, Marion County land use and capital improvements coordinator, advises that the project essentially came in on budget. She said a change order for additional re-bar amounted to a net increase of $177. Another change order was also approved because less concrete than expected was needed.

Replacement of the 94-year-old bridge, one of Marion County's oldest bridges, began in July. Initially it was projected that construction would be wrapped up by the end of September. Lyndon Bode, presiding commissioner, cited wet conditions in July for putting the project behind schedule.

Bode did not believe the construction delay caused much hardship since a low-water crossing was built for public use during the project.

In late March the County Commission submitted a bid for $466,449 from Sharp Excavating of Perry, Mo., the lowest of five bids received, to the Missouri Department of Transportation for its approval. Sharp's bid for the replacement project was below the engineer's estimate of $579,722.

MoDOT had a voice in which contractor was selected for the project since federal dollars received through the Bridge Replacement Off-System (BRO) program are being used to help pay for the new bridge. MoDOT administers the BRO program, which provides approximately $170,000 a year to Marion County for bridge construction projects. BRO funds can be used to pay for 80 percent of a new bridge that is built to state specifications.

The old bridge over See's Creek had a 5-ton weight limit. It also was one of 24 county bridges that was rated "structurally deficient and functionally obsolete" during inspections conducted by MoDOT earlier this year.

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