On October 9th, the Shelby County Commission adopted a resolution to honor the legacy of Thomas "Tom" C. Grimes. Tom served the residents of Shelby County for 26 years. He was dedicated to his role as Chief Engineer, assisting in the rehabilitation or replacement of over 90 bridges and culverts out of the 191 structures maintained under the National Bridge Inspection Standards by the County.
Mark Endfinger, a close team member of Tom stated, "Tom was known as a teacher among his peers and employees. Many noted how he took time to carefully assist those that asked for help, and how he always helped them to understand difficult engineering problems. He was an open book of knowledge and expertise in the office who was able to help others understand difficult topics with ease. Even as he battled cancer, he felt the importance of helping those he would leave behind during his many treatments…While I do believe that Tom would absolutely appreciate this honor, I knew him well enough to know that he would point you to the bridge that he did not build. This bridge, though not physical, already had the plan drawn, the right of way had previously been purchased, the contract had been fulfilled, the paperwork was complete, and the final inspection had uncovered no flaws. I can only imagine the joy of crossing the bridge built by his Savior Jesus Christ as he laughed at the swirling waters beneath the deck. I do imagine he no longer felt the burden of cancer. Rather, he felt alive and united with his savior safely on the other side. That’s the bridge he would point you to given the chance. Therefore, when I pass safely over a bridge in this County, I honor Tom by remembering the bridges he built, but more importantly, I think of the bridge he did not build."
An excerpt from the resolution reads, "We have chosen to remember Tom by naming one of his most impressive bridges after him. The Shelby County Road 52 Bridge over the Cahaba River is Shelby County’s largest bridge spanning some 446 feet, 52 feet above the Cahaba River. The bridge’s impressive elements can be observed from the old bridge that now serves as a pedestrian bridge. Residents may travel over this impressive structure safely and see the beautiful Cahaba River below without knowing the individual who worked diligently to bring about the project. They may walk across the pedestrian bridge and wonder what it took to plan and construct the new bridge. We choose to remember Tom as the instrumental figure that brought us so many tremendous improvements to our bridge program such as the Cahaba River Bridge, and who played a pivotal role in making the construction possible."
We as a County are immensely grateful to Tom for the contributions he made to ensure the safety of our residents and the impact he had on all of those he came in contact with.