Engineer's estimate was over $1 million

Bleigh Construction of Hannibal submitted the low bid for the Taylor bridge project in Marion County. Bids were opened Monday morning by the Marion County Commission at the courthouse in Palmyra.

Bleigh's bid of $884,083.60 was the lower of the two submitted. MECO engineering's estimate for the project was $1,075,770.35.

"That is less than we were expecting," said Western District Commissioner Steve Begley.

The other bid for the project was $1,797,910.70 from Klocke, Inc., of Palmyra.

The commissioners are expected to formally accept the Bleigh bid after MECO reviews the bid in detail. Jim Bensman of MECO said he could have a recommendation to the commissioners by Tuesday, June 11.

Eastern District Commissioner Larry Welch would like to see a recommendation sooner than later. "We need to get the ball rolling on this," he said.

The commissioners want to have the project completed in 2019.

Presiding Commissioner David Lomax sees a window of opportunity for Bleigh to build the new span this year.

"Ninety working days would be pretty close to the end of October," he said.

Welch is realistic about Bleigh's chances of getting the project finished this fall. "It would be nice if we had it in by the end of the year," he said. "I seriously doubt we will be able to tell them that we want it done by the end of the year with all the [flood] water."

The 201-foot Taylor bridge on County Road 313 crosses the North Fabius River. It was closed Nov. 8, 2017, on the recommendation of the Missouri Department of Transportation after multiple inspections found deterioration throughout the bridge, particularly in the floor beams that run directly under the concrete deck. MoDOT concluded that the span, which opened in 1929, could no longer safely hold the weight of a car.