Aggies Without Limits names Alamogordo project after late Aggie

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Courtesy Photo of the AWL Instagram page.

Local Bridge built by Aggies Without Limits finally finished located in Alamogordo, NM.

New Mexico State University’s Aggies Without Limits has completed the Alamogordo bridge project, naming it after late Otero County Fair Board member and Aggie alumnus Bill Mershon.

Mershon obtained a degree in Electrical Engineering from NMSU and served on the Otero County Fair board for 17 years. During his time on the fair board, he sketched a bridge on the arroyo 15 years before AWL started the project.

According to members of AWL, Mershon would consistently lend a hand during the project.

“He would come almost every weekend, and he would help carry stuff,” Kenny Stevens, advisor for AWL said.

Mershon passed away on Oct. 22, 2020.

“[His] passing hit everybody really hard,” Stevens said. “So we named the bridge after him and made a little plaque with his name on it.”

The bridge was a local community service project designed and built by the members and was slated to be completed in December 2020.

The bridge project took over eight months to complete, and the project officially finished on March 23. It took upwards of 23 volunteers going every other weekend to finish the project.

After learning of AWL, the Otero County Fair Board approached the group with the project.

“The fairgrounds needed a bridge that would connect two parts of the fairgrounds through an arroyo to make it safer for visitors to visit both sides,” Stevens said. “If a person wanted to go from the [carnival] rides to go check out the animals, they had to leave a side gate and basically walk in the street for about 100 feet and then go back another gate.”

Overall, the project went smoothly except for some minor hiccups along the way, like the arroyo’s placement, Stevens and the President of AWL, Alessa Ibanez noted.

Due to the location of the arroyo, supplies like steel beams had to be delivered to another part of the fairgrounds Stevens said. The steel beams needed to support the bridge weighed 800 pounds and measured in at 36 feet.

“We had about maybe 15 members come down to Alamogordo. [The beams] were heavy, and so we, you know, all got together in a straight line, and we picked up the beam,” Ibanez said. “I remember we were walking towards the bridge, and my hands were shaking.”

According to Ibanez and Stevens, the largest obstacle the team faced was keeping morale up.

“The biggest challenge was just keeping people excited because when you’re all volunteers, and you’re spending ten bucks a weekend on gas, and you can barely buy food because you’re a student, that gets a little old after a while,” Stevens said.

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