Commissioners discuss road and bridges
BELOIT – Stuart Porter, County Engineer, and Dale Housh, Superintendent of Public Works, were present to discuss the replacement of two bridges on the Jewell-Mitchell County line, during the Mitchell County Commissioners meeting on Monday. These bridges are rated as fracture-critical by the inspectors. This rating is reserved for bridges that are older or have structural concerns.
Because these bridges are on the county line road the replacement work and expense would appear to be a shared undertaking with Jewell County.
The westernmost bridge has solid plans for replacement. It will be funded through a KDOT grant program with the state picking up a sizable portion of the cost and the remainder will be shared by Mitchell and Jewell County.
At a recent multi-county meeting, the easternmost bridge topic arose about how to best replace the bridge. With only a brief, passing conversation the Mitchell County Commissioners were unsure of Jewell County’s preference on the bridge replacement.
“I think the Jewell County Commissioners would prefer replacing the cement bridge with a steel culvert," Housh said. "At first look it would seem like a culvert would be a cheaper way to go.”
Housh went on to explain that the creek takes an S-shaped bend right at the bridge. It would take twice the length of culvert to provide adequate drainage. Additionally, a great deal of dirt work would be necessary to secure the steel culvert sections.
“All in all, when we figure all the expenses of the two options, it may work out that a cement bridge replacement would be better and cheaper in the long run," said Porter.
The commissioners decided to attempt to arrange a face-to-face discussion with the Jewell County Commissioners to discuss options of the “what, why, and how” of replacing the bridge. County Clerk Chris Treaster will make the arrangements with Carla Waugh, the Jewell County Clerk. It was hoped that the meeting could be arranged sometime in the next two or three weeks.
An anti-stalking proclamation was the only other discussion before the agenda cleared of topics, the meeting was adjourned.