Bridge construction due



January 8, 2014 - 12:00 AM

Construction of a bridge first conceived in 2004 should start this summer, Bill King, director of Public Works, told Allen County commissioners Tuesday morning.
Bridges deemed to have higher priority have pushed Owl Creek bridge down the line. The bridge is about two miles west of Humboldt.
To get up to speed, commissioners approved a new contract with Schwab Eaton, a Manhattan engineering firm, that did original studies and has a long history with Allen County and its bridges.
The firm has done inspections of the county’s 224 for more than 20 years and, in another action, was hired to examine all of the bridges this year. Inspections, done every two years, will cost $84 each, or $18,816 total.
Brad Fagan, a Schwab Eaton engineer, said the Owl Creek bridge presented several problems, from it crossing the creek at an angle and with the road it carries curving at each end.
“I talked to KDOT (Kansas Department of Transportation) in 2004 about what approach to take,” Fagan said, allowing the configuration of the road and bridge made for tricky engineering.
The option settled on then will have the new bridge 32 feet wide and essentially as part of the roadway’s curve. It will have 3 percent slope to make passage safer, coming and going.
The slope on highways is 1.5 to 2 percent in each lane to a crown in the center, Fagan said, and that the 3 percent slope of the bridge would be noticeable to motorists.
The new agreement has provision for its cost not to exceed $60,000. KDOT will pay 80 percent of engineering as well as 80 percent of construction costs, estimated at $750,000.
King said bids likely would be let in July.

ALSO, KING said he was pursuing purchase of a fuel truck on Purple Wave, a national auction site specializing in heavy equipment.
He said the county’s two fuel trucks, one a 1967 model and the other from 1976, were on their last legs. If bidding is successful, the older truck will be stationed at the airport to serve a fueling point, while the other will be kept at the landfill. The new one would be sent throughout the county to support Public Works projects.
“I’m looking for a bargain,” King said of the fuel truck, which is in Colorado. “If we get it, we’ll have it shipped here,” cheaper than going to Colorado and then driving it back.
Bidding ends Jan. 16.

COMMISSIONERS agreed to transfer money from Allen County Sewer District No. 2 to Iola, provided plans to annex the residential development north of the old Haldex plant wins council approval.
City council members will discuss the annexation at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Bass Community Building.
County Clerk Sherrie Riebel said the sewer district fund contained a touch over $10,000, with additional distributions from 2013 property taxes due later this month and again in early summer.
Iola Administrator Carl Slaugh said immediate need was a new lift station, which pumps sewage along mains when gravity doesn’t do the job. Riebel said the county received a bid of $43,000 to replace the lift station three or four years ago.
Slaugh said he was uncertain how the project would be financed through the city’s authority, although benefit district funding was likely. That would mean people served by the sewer system would pay for its improvement, rather than through a city-at-large assessment.
Slaugh also said all appeared to be going well with the merged ambulance service.
“We’ve been busy,” he said, including several mutual aid runs into Bourbon County from the Moran station.
Nine full-time county ambulance employees, including six paramedics, transferred to the city’s employment, he said. Additional paramedics are being sought, he added, but that all runs have been conducted as Type I service, which requires a paramedic on board.
“We’ve had quite a bit of overtime,” Slaugh said.

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