The Ste. Genevieve County Commission, representatives of Keith Simpson Contracting and Smith & Company Engineering and several Minnith-area residents gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony March 12 to officially open the new bridge over Saline Creek.
The old slab, built in the early 1990s, washed out during flash flooding in late April 2017. It took the county nearly two years to earn permissions and approvals from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other agencies to replace the bridge.
The new span, about six feet higher than the old one and with more flow space for water to go under it than the old one, was put in place by Keith Simpson Contracting of Scott City.
“I want to thank everyone for their patience,” Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson said. “We were waiting on the federal government. If we had to put this in ourselves, with our own finances, we’d still be waiting.”
He praised Jeremy Manning of Smith & Company for walking the commission through the process, and associate county clerk Michele Gatzemeyer for filling out paperwork that Nelson measured as 4 1/2 inches high.
“We were lucky to have an engineer with Jeremy’s experience in working with FEMA, because between Jeremy and Michele, we basically did nothing,” Nelson said on behalf of the commissioners. “Sorry for it taking so long, but it just had to be that way.”
See complete story in the March 20 edition of the Herald.