Bridge construction preparation to begin

Staff writer

Time is of the essence for the county to fix a damaged bridge near Florence.

Commissioners voted Monday to begin a process to get the 126-foot bridge, at Alfalfa Road crossing the Cottonwood River, prepared for construction.

Kenneth Blair of CFS Engineers said if the bridge is “shovel ready,” then the county has a better chance of receiving 80 percent of the estimated $1 million cost from the Kansas Department of Transportation. The county would have to pay a $234,000 portion.

“It’s a competitive program,” Blair said. “Last year more counties submitted requests than there was money available.”

Design plans are currently 60 percent finished, and geology work to find bedrock under the ground is yet to be done.

KDOT will not select until June, making construction unlikely to begin until 2016. If the bridge is ready enough, work could start as early as 2015.

Commissioners also adopted the 2014 budget Monday.

“Another year’s gone by and another year we survive, so we’re going to keep on moving forward,” Commissioner Randy Dallke said.

The commission also:

  • Upgraded the maintenance contract on its operating systems, saving a little under $5,000.
  • Decided to write a letter to select taxpayers asking for a return on the difference in rebates for a mistake made in the revitalization plan.
  • Agreed to pay $1,100 to get an estimate on repairs to the courthouse clock.
  • Approved EMS Director Steve Smith’s request to take a course in Anniston, Md., for disaster training.

 

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