The last time we updated the status of the Coltrane road project phases, two of the three phases was uncertain. Our work in this area has gained new ground as this week we have much better news that all three project phases are now back on the full funding track. Phase 1 from Simpson to Seward road is now on the FY- 2019 STP-UZA federal 80% grant list for $2.6 million dollars; Phase 3 from Waterloo to Simmons road is on the same 80% grant list for FY-2020 at another $2.6 million dollars; and Phase 2 between Simmons and Simpson is scheduled to be let for construction contracts in May 2017 with actual construction to begin around September 2017 at a total cost of around $4 million dollars 100% CIRB funded.
We attend the preconstruction meeting with the bridge contractor and engineers working on the Seward Road Bridge over the Cottonwood Creek last week. With all in agreement with the statement of work; this week, the contractors began prepositioning equipment and making preparation for demolition and removal of the failed bridge. Seward Road from Broadway to Santa Fe will remain closed to through traffic until the repairs are completed and we official re-open the bridge this summer.
Rail Road horn. We have been meeting with representatives of BNSF and the FRA over the past several months along with concerned residents in the south part of the county on establishing rail road “quiet zones” at two crossings. A quiet zone will restrict the train from sounding an auditable warning as they approach the county road crossing in that zone. The two crossing sites being considered are on Forest Hills and Simpson Road just west of Broadway. We are finishing up the application with fresh traffic counts this week and will provide a status update on the outcome.
Rail Road potholes. We have also been in discussions with BNSF concerning the county doing road maintenance of county roads at rail road crossings. Previously, the rail road wanted to charge the county $750 for a permit to maintain the county roadway that crossed the rail road right of way. After several discussions, we have come to the agreement that the permit is for commercial contractors and not county road crews. The county can now freely coordinate our road work with the BNSF road master representatives on our maintenance activities. Safety first, always, around rail road crossings.
Most of our residents would be surprised to know that most road miles and bridges in Oklahoma are built and maintained by their respective County government elected officials. Small and limited government closest to the people is the most accountable to the electorate. HOUSE BILL 1165 is one of the most important pieces of County government legislation to come forward in quite a while. This change in CIRB funding will have a direct and positive impact on improving our local roads and bridges. Please support this effort by calling your legislators and ask that they support and pass this important county road and bridge legislation, HB1165.
As for new projects in our district, next week we will be attending project planning meeting to replace the Gar Creek Bridge on SH33, 2.8 miles east of SH-74, JP-29841(04). This is a $3.5 million dollar ODOT funded project that is scheduled to begin in 2021.
Until next time, be safe out there on our county roads and bridges.
Logan County, District 1
Work: 405 282-3581