After weeks of work to build the most efficient model bridges, Ste. Genevieve High School’s SkillsUSA students put their bridges to the test on November 21 at the completion of the Missouri Department of Transportation’s 16th annual Bridge Building Competition.

The Ste. Genevieve High School (SGHS) team earned second place out of 36 schools, and the team received a cash prize donated by the Southeast Chapter of the Transportation Employee Association of Missouri.

Of 450 total bridges entered into the competition, SGHS junior Alyssa Fahnestock’s bridge earned 10th place overall. SGHS senior Charles Finley earned an award for the most aesthetic bridge.

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 High School placed first and Hartville placed third. Esteban Martinez of East Prairie placed first in the competition, which was based on being able to build the lightest bridge capable of carrying the greatest loads.

Prize donations and supply sponsorships were made possible by the following businesses and organizations: Southeast Chapter of the Transportation Employee Association of Missouri, Southeast Missouri State University, Three Rivers Community College, Southeast Missouri State University Department of Engineering and Technology, Southeast Chapter of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers, and the Southeast Coalition for Roadway Safety.

(Information in releases from the Ste. Genevieve R-II School District and the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Southeast Missouri District office.)