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Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Engineers taking on more bridge projects

County has rehabbed, replaced 64 bridges in the last five years

By Shelley Grieshop
Mercer County engineers have added two more bridge projects to their schedule for 2010 in an effort to upgrade as many as possible as funding becomes available.
The two projects currently on their agenda are located in northern Mercer County and have an estimated combined cost of $1.3 million. Both projects have a completion date of Sept. 30, according to county Engineer Jim Wiechart.
On Tuesday, county commissioners set Dec. 15 as the date to open sealed bids for the work.
The first bridge crosses the St. Marys River on Township Line Road in Dublin and Black Creek townships. The estimated cost is $816,020. The road and bridge improvements consist of widening the shoulders and pavement, improving the existing drainage along the road, resurfacing the entire widened roadway and constructing a prestressed concrete bridge deck on capped-pile abutments and piers.
The second bridge is on Tomlinson Road, over the Kyle Prairie ditch in Union Township. The estimated cost for the work is $521,464. That project is nearly identical to the bridge work slated for Township Line Road.
Funding for both projects is mainly through federal dollars.
Bridge work and related infrastructure projects are undertaken frequently in the county due to work by the county engineer's office to apply and receive federal funds for bigger projects. In the last five years, the county has rehabilitated or replaced 64 bridges at a cost of approximately $9.9 million. Nearly half of that total was paid with federal and state funds, Wiechart said.
This year, the agency completed five bridge projects, two bridge rehabs and seven large culverts. In 2008, engineers completed seven bridge replacements, three major bridge rehabs and replaced four large culverts related to bridge work.
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