After weeks of work to build the most efficient model bridges, Southeast Missouri high school students put their bridges to the test on November 16 at the completion of Missouri Department of Transportation’s 14th annual Bridge Building Competition.

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.

Ste. Genevieve High School placed first in overall performance, followed by Oak Ridge and Chaffee.

The top three schools received cash prizes donated by the Southeast Chapter Transportation Employee Association of Missouri.

In addition, five students were recognized for building the lightest bridges that carried the greatest loads, with Ste. Genevieve students placing first and third.

Ste. Genevieve’s Jacob Thomure placed first.

Jordan Weibrecht of Ste. Genevieve placed third.

The top five also included Taylor Bolin of Oak Ridge in second, Conner Bock of Oak Ridge in fourth and Trenton Gamlisch of Chaffee in fifth.

Most aesthetic bridge was presented to Morgan Merrill of Sikeston High School.

The computer-based electronic bridge award was presented to Fadel Alkilani of Sikeston High School.

(Information in a release from the Southeast District of the Missouri Department of Transportation.)