Jason Peters, County Highway Superintendent updated the County Commissioners during their meeting last week.

While briefing the commissioners on the various bridge projects in process, Peters said the Ule Road Bridge has seen a huge increase due to inflation.  The county had intended to replace the bridge with a timber bridge but the cost of timber has gone up.  In a comparison between the timber bridge and a prestressed concrete box beam structure, the timber bridge will be $226,384 higher.  He said it was much more economical to go with the concrete box beam structure.  This project is in the preliminary planning stage. 

Bridge #87 on 11th Road is scheduled for a March letting date.  According to INDOT the low bid on Bridge #120 on Upas Road came in at $2,141,000. While INDOT has issued the Notice to Proceed and the Purchase Order, they have not notified the county of the contractor who was the low bidder. 

The county is continuing to work on Right-of-Way and permits for Bridge # 232 on Randolph Street in Centennial Park. The project on Bridge # 1004 on Elm Road has secured the Hochstetler property. 

Peters told the County Commissioners the Bridge Inspections for 2022-2025 has started and the bridge preservation projects for bridges # 179 and 180 have been submitted to INDOT for review. 

The Highway Superintendent said the county has submitted bridges 88, 108 and on Linden Road for the recent Call for Projects.  INDOT contacted Peters to see if the county would consider using local funds for the preliminary engineering or right-of-way acquisition.  Peters believes INDOT is having a short fall for 2024, 25 and 26 monies.  He presented the commissioners with cost estimates that showed the preliminary engineering for the Linden Road bridge at $758,000; Bridge #88 on 12th Road at $500,000 and Bridge #108 at Jarah Road $300,000.  The estimated right-of-way acquisition was estimated at $583,000 for the Linden Road Bridge, $70,000 for Bridge # 88 and $30,000 for Bridge # 108. 

INDOT wondered if the county would do PE or Right-of-Way on any one of the three projects. Peters said, “We don’t have to but if we can do on the local side, that’s a guaranteed project.”  He said it makes out project more appealing to INDOT.  The commissioners didn’t make a decision but said bridges #88 and or 108 could be paid out of the Cum Bridge Fund.  Peters even suggested doing the PE for one bridge project and right-of-way for a second bridge project to show the state the county’s commitment on the bridge projects.