Grant discussed by commissioners

Dawn Rye | Writer

During last week’s Turner County commissioner meeting,

Highway Superintendent Kent Austin said the county received a PE grant. Austin said it is for the preliminary engineering stage of bridge replacement on 461st Ave a mile and a half south of Davis. 

He noted it is an 80 percent match with a complete redesign.

Chairman Lyle Vanhove asked is this Dean Erickson’s bridge?

Austin said yes.

Vanhove questioned when is the construction date is?

Austin explained construction would begin in either 2023 or 2024. He noted the state wants the bridges complete in three years; however, it’s almost four years on the Vibrog Bridge east of town.

Vanhove asked if Johnson Engineering is going to have to make any changes to the design?

Austin said the Davis Bridge is long. He explained two years ago, the county did a cost assessment for $4 million. He explained when the county decides to discuss when they apply for the building grant, the county wants to get an 80/20 match.

Commissioner Tony Ciampa asked what is wrong with the Davis Bridge?

Austin explained it’s low grade and structurally unsound, so each year, the load grading goes down. He noted it’s at 80,000-pound max and he wished years ago it would have been replaced at $1 million bridge cost instead of $4 million. Austin said at that time, the bridge was raised because the I-beams were collapsing on the abutments. He noted new I-beams were welded in to hold the structure.

He explained Johnson Engineering doesn’t understand the ultra soundboards under the water, so they would instead build a new bridge.

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