A Pottawatomie County commissioner says the Belvue Bridge may need to close in the near future due to its deteriorating condition.
Pat Weixelman, the current chair of the board, shared his concern during commissioner comments Monday, after saying he noticed some truckers still crossing the bridge despite concerns of its current weight limitations.
“There’s going to come a point on that bridge here, I think sooner than later, that we’re going to have to put a road closed sign on it. If these people can’t respect what we’re doing keeping light traffic going across it, there’s a time where we just barricade it and say sorry,” he said.
Weixelman says he even recorded license plate numbers of those trucks who appeared to exceed the current capacity for the bridge. Commissioners have in the past few months noted the lighter capacities to keep it from deteriorating further.
The bridge is slated for a $9 million rehabilitation project with Pottawatomie and Wabaunsee counties sharing in the cost. Weixelman has suggested more enforcement around the bridge. Commissioner Dee McKee joked that truck drivers should cross the bridge at their own risk.
“Put up a big sign that says if you’re going to take your truck over this, make sure you have $25 million worth of insurance and a parachute,” she said.
Any completed project isn’t likely until late 2023 at the earliest and it’s very possible the bridge could be closed before the end of this year, if conditions warrant.