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Bids for Alton bridge rehab could be let this summer

March 26, 2008
Rehabilitation of County Bridge No. 45 — "the long bridge" — at Alton took a step closer as the Crawford County Board of Commissioners Thursday night voted 3-0 to approve a design exception and plans for the approximately $900,000 project.

Doug Dagley of Jannssen & Spanns Engineering said the design exception involved replacing plans to use standard Indiana Department of Transportation rails with more historically-pleasing ones.

He said work on the project — which will maintain the bridge's 12-ton weight limit, provide minor structural repairs, add a new approach rail and deck, and clean and paint the bridge — could begin late this year.

The project, which is to be funded by an INDOT grant that calls for the county to pay 20 percent of the costs, has increased by some $200,000, District 3 Commissioner James Schultz, whose district includes the area, said. However, he explained, that's due to the delay of the project, which began prior to him taking office in 2005.

Schultz said INDOT favored completion of another bridge project in the county on Archibald Falls Bridge Road and didn't want to do two projects at the same time. Then, the project was delayed for the past year as the county worked to attain right-of-way easements, he said.

Schultz said he doesn't believe there will be a problem in getting INDOT to refund the project, with the price increase, at the 80/20 split, which would put the county's share at about $180,000.

Dagley said a request for contracts should be issued in mid-April, meaning bids could be let in August. INDOT, he said, likely will place the project on either a 90- or 120-day construction schedule. Although INDOT doesn't count November through April against the construction schedule, he said he is hopeful that contractors wanting to work during the winter months will provide a more competitive bid.

In other business, the commissioners:

•Voted 3-0 to approve Dispatch Office supervisor Beth Johnson's request to have part-time dispatcher Robin Marshall work 40 hours per week while a full-time dispatcher is on leave.

Marshall will not be paid above the part-time rate she was receiving and will be receive benefits.

Johnson said she selected Marshall because she is the most senior part-time dispatcher.

•Approved, 3-0, an ordinance that authorizes the Auditor's Office to collect a fee of no more than $5 for each deed or legal description of each parcel contained in a deed for which the auditor makes a real property endorsement.

The collected fees will be placed in a fund to be used to maintain plat books.

•Voted 3-0 to allow District 2 Commissioner Randy Gilmore to meet with a representative from Verizon regarding concerns the county has with the company laying lines in county culverts.

•Voted 3-0 to approve a change regarding the opening of the courthouse when school is either delayed or called off.

Currently, the courthouse opens late during such times. However, the new policy allows the president of the board of commissioners to determine, on a case-by-case basis, if the courthouse should open late.

In such cases that the courthouse opening is delayed or canceled, the president is to notify the Dispatch Office, which is to relay the information on the scanner and call the Louisville television stations to have it broadcast.

Larry Bye, president of the board of commissioners, brought up the policy for discussion after confusion earlier in the day because of flooding at Milltown. The commissioners said no employee who was late because of the confusion will be penalized.


The commissioners' next meeting will be Thursday, April 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the Crawford County Judicial Complex at English.

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Barbara Shaw
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