Three bridges will see construction this fallThe Goodhue County Board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the funding needed to replace three township bridges before the snow flies.
By: Regan Carstensen, The Republican Eagle
The Goodhue County Board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the funding needed to replace three township bridges before the snow flies.
The bridges in Holden and Belle Creek townships are closed and are sitting at the top of the county’s Bridge Replacement Priority List.
A southern bridge in Holden Township is the county’s top priority, Public Works Director Greg Isakson said, because it allows access to properties that could otherwise be inaccessible depending on river levels.
“If the Zumbro River comes up, these people are basically landlocked,” Isakson explained.
A new culvert will be put in using funds from Goodhue County’s Township Bridge Account.
The account also will help pay for the replacement of the Belle Creek Bridge on 362nd Street, although there aren’t sufficient funds to cover all costs. Belle Creek Township will advance the balance of the funds required to pay for the bridge and will be reimbursed in January when the county’s Township Bridge Account receives its annual allotment, Isakson said.
Since the first two projects will drain the bridge account, an advancement of funds from the county would be needed to get the third bridge — one in northern Holden Township — constructed before winter.
The county would have sufficient funds to replace the bridge after its bridge account is replenished in 2013, but that would mean keeping the bridge closed until next spring.
Isakson said he contacted Holden Township to see if any hardship would be caused as a result of leaving the bridge closed throughout winter, but hasn’t received a response. He also asked if the township would be able to advance some funding if it finds replacement necessary this fall.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Commissioner Dan Rechtzigel raised the question of whether the county could see savings by hiring one contractor for both of the Holden Township bridge projects.
“We may realize savings, but it may also cost us time,” Isakson said. By keeping each project separate, “hopefully, theoretically, we could have three contractors working on all three bridges at the same time.”
Although Public Works is waiting on word from Holden Township about a potential contribution, commissioners saw the need for the bridges to be re-opened this year and voted to approve the advancement of funds on their end.
“Whatever they can’t (advance), we do,” Rechtzigel said.
All three bridges will be replaced with culverts.