Pott. County Commission discusses potential US-24 Hwy. projects, CARES Act funds

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US-24 Hwy. projects
The Pottawatomie County Commission rejected all bids for the Green Valley Rd./US-24 Hwy. intersection project Monday.
The low bid of $4.02 million was about 22 percent higher then the $3.3 million estimate.
According to Peter Clark, Pottawatomie County Public Works director, the commission is statutorily required to reject bids that are more than 10 percent higher than the estimate.
The commission also heard bids for the US-24 Hwy./Crown C Circle project, with the lowest coming in beneath the engineer’s estimate at about $1.3 million.
While some officials were wanting the two US-24 Hwy. projects to occur at the same time, commissioner Pat Weixelman wants them to occur separately to avoid congestion.
“I haven’t said much,” Weixelman said. “Everybody was gunning on doing them both at the same time. I think this is an omen. I think we got a good price this morning on that Crown C (project). It’s been something that’s been in the books for as long as I can remember.”
Pottawatomie County has a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation that, as it currently stands, will pay for 100 percent of up to $1.1 million of the project’s cost.
Clark is hoping to obtain more funding from KDOT before recommending a bid to the commission.
CARES Act work session
The Pottawatomie County Commission reviewed and approved several CARES Act-funded projects Monday.
The funds for these projects are part of about $1.5 million in CARES Act funds allocated by the Kansas state government for independent Pottawatomie County projects.
Commissioner Pat Weixelman says that with a completion deadline of Dec. 31 and with how busy contractors and architects are, it is going to be difficult to finish some of the projects.
“You’re looking at two to three weeks for them to get something drawn up and figured out, so that puts you in the middle of October, ” Weixelman said. “Then you’re going to have to go through the bidding process, which is another two to three weeks, advertise it, so that puts you in the middle of November. And then trying to get it done by the end of the year with holidays in there and everything else, I think it’s gonna be a substantial feat to do.”
Public Works director Peter Clark says the county may be able to combat this complication by assigning smaller parts of certain projects to subcontractors.
Some of the expenses include $700,000 for emergency-radio-tower upgrades, $149,500 for EMS medical equipment and $80,000 for online-streaming equipment.
Belvue Bridge
The Pottawatomie County Commission plans to hold a work session in the coming weeks to discuss options for repairing the 65-year-old Belvue Bridge.
The meeting will center around a recent study that explored what all can be done to the bridge to ensure its continued integrity and use.
Clark says time is of the essence when it comes to having these discussions and making a decision.
“We know the bridge is in very poor shape,” Clark said. “We know that doing something to the bridge this fall is absolutely critical. It’s not an option not to do something, but the questions is what are going to do.”
According to Clark, the project will likely come with a hefty price tag, with one of the cheapest options coming in around $6.7 million. He says financing will likely be required if the commission takes action within the next year or so.
The future work session will also include the Wabaunsee County Commission since the Belvue Bridge spans the Kansas River between both counties.
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