Bridge replacement projects continue despite storm damage delays

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An American proverb says, “If you can’t ride two horses at once, you shouldn’t be in the circus.”

I find that if you can’t multi-task, you probably shouldn’t be in county government. Recently in District 1, we have been up to our ears in multi-tasking. Sometimes it is a good thing, because it means many road and bridge improvements are underway, but occasionally we get involved in a project we did not anticipate.

One such project to which we’ve devoted significant time and effort is a major repair on Broadway Road just north of Hwy 33. On April 14, heavy rain and swirling water carved out a huge section of roadway by a pond. The road had to be closed due to a 15′ cave hollowed out beneath a still intact 10″ layer of asphalt.

After barricading the road, we removed the asphalt overlay and borrowed a pump to drain the area in which we needed to work. It had just begun to dry when it rained again, causing additional delays. The project was also complicated by various utilities within the roadway
around which heavy equipment operators had to manuever in order to preserve water and phone service to local residents.

District 1 purchased four new 48″ x 30′ tinhorns which were banded together and carefully positioned beneath utility lines to establish new drainage. This project is still underway as we work through additional repairs.

Staff has been compiling costs for the project and calculate that at this time, expenses for men, machinery and materials amount to $27,000. Of that, over $4000 was used to purchase tinhorns. We still must buy asphalt and replace guardrail.

The good news is that the county emergency management director has informed us of a state funding source through which we may apply for reimbursement. Efforts are underway in District 1 to do so.

Other tasks we are working on beyond that of ordinary maintenance involve preparation for two bridge projects, one on Broadway just south of Camp Rd. and the other on Charter Oak Rd. west of Santa Fe. Coordination is underway with utility companies for relocation of all facilities within the scope of these projects.

We are also ordering signage to prepare a detour route off Broadway when the bridge closes July 2 and this week we interviewed a land company regarding acquisition of right-of-way for a five-mile paving project on Coltrane Rd.

We are multi-tasking in District 1, and if you hear a distant rumble, it is probably a trackhoe and bulldozer enroute to the next project.

Mark Sharpton
District 1

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