Lots of Bridge Talk by Pottawatomie County

Bret Engel before Pottawatomie County Commission (photos by Cathy Dawes)

Bret Engel before Pottawatomie County Commission (photos by Cathy Dawes)

(the Belvue Bridge portion of this story comes from KMAN’s partner, the Wamego Smoke Signal)
 
Belvue Bridge continues to be a big topic of discussion by Pottawatomie County Commissioners. Kurt Clink of Truesdell Corp., the company doing the study,  met with the board of county commissioners on Monday to deliver a study of the bridge deck. An engineering assessment conducted by Gannett Fleming, Inc. studied whether reasonable rehabilitation options exist for the bridge deck. The deck was found to be a candidate for rehabilitation. A 6.5 inch concrete overlay is possible, as long as the axle weight limit is reduced from 16 tons to 8 tons per axle.
 
“You can either spend $2 million for rehabilitation of the bridge deck or $13 million for a brand new bridge,” according to Clink.
 
“(How is this) on a scale of one to 10, 10 being an extension of the life of the bridge by 15 – 20 years?,” County Commissioner Pat Weixelman asked. “I would say it is a guess, but seven,” Clink said. The difficulty is that the deck has been rated at a 5 for needing repairs, where KDOT suggests a 5 rating is more like a high 4. When it rates below 5, then repairs are required. “When does the bridge move from being rehabilitated to needing to be demolished and replaced?,” Clink asked.
“How much will a design and build for rehabbing the deck cost us?” Weixelman asked. “I would see it coming in at $2.5 million,” Clink said.
 
And there was plenty more bridge talk by Pottawatomie County Commissioners Monday. In addition to discussion with Wabaunsee County officials regarding Belvue Bridge, commissioners heard about some other needed bridge work.
 
Pottawatomie County Commission Chair Stan Hartwich tells KMAN the state helps out with most of the financing. The state pays 90 percent, with the 10 percent county match not to exceed $120,000.
 
Hartwich says the county meets the criteria and has narrowed down the number of bridges that need to be worked from 17 to two–on McDonald and Rockenham Roads.
 
A rezoning request for a little more than 100 acres in St.George Township was given approval by Pottawatomie County Commissioners Monday. Hartwich adds the decision had to be a unanimous one, due to a valid protest petition. The property is located north of highway 24 and just east of Rockenham Road.
 
And a request for a second entrance to accomodate a shop on Top Notch Road was approved, with a few stipulations Monday. Bret Engel made the request, with the apparent backing of Janell Ralph, Project coordinator with Pottawatomie County Public Works.
 
The public works official said her only other concern is the original driveway, since sections were not put in on the drive. Engel indicated he would take care of that.
 
Commissioners approved the additional entrance, with the stipulation the original driveway be fixed as recommended by Ralph.
Janell Ralph with Commissioners

Janell Ralph with Commissioners