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      Bonds help build bridge to NEMO county's future

      Progress continues in Marion County Missouri as officials cut the ribbon on another new bridge.

      This time one of the people cutting the ribbon is the man who had the bridge named after him.

      T he Masterson bridge is now named for a neighbor who has lived near the bridge for the past 80 years.

      The old steel and wodden plank bridge had a weight limit and was built in the early 1900's. The new bridge doesn't have a weight limit and can accommodate any type of vehicle.

      Lyndon Bode, presiding commissioner for Marion County, said the bridge unveiled Monday is the 13th replaced by the county since the mid 1990's.

      "It's important for the community, as you can see farming ground on both sides of the bridge, farmer's operating and getting their equipment back and forth," he said. "As time goes by the equipment gets bigger so with the replacing of the bridges any type of equipment can come across whether it's combines or tractors."

      Funding came from a combination of federal, state and local money that paid for the $518,000 project. The county used money generated from a local sales tax to pay its 20 percent portion.

      Bode said Marion County voters approved the local sales tax option in the mid-1980s to fund infrastructure improvements. The latest approval from voters made the tax permanent.

      Jim Masterson, who has lived near the bridge for nearly eight decades, says this new bridge will be a great benefit to the area.

      "Well for one thing it's a lot wider then the old one and there's no limit on the weight," he said.

      Bode also said the county still has a list of bridges they've targeted fore replacement. He added the county averages a bridge replacement ever 18 months and that should continue in the years to come.