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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Commissioners making county bridges safer

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Clay County Commissioners dedicated the re-opening of Bridge 230 in Harrison Township Thursday morning. The bridge was replaced by a tank car by BLS Contractors, Inc., Bowling Green, because the bridge was deteriorating and too narrow for farmers to transport equipment from field to field. Pictured are (from left) Commissioners Paul Sinders and Jack Withers, Clay County Highway Superintendent Pete Foster and Commissioner President Charlie Brown. Jason Jacobs Photo.
The Clay County Commissioners have been working hard to make roads and bridges safer for county residents.

The commissioners dedicated the re-opening of Bridge 230, located on County Road 950 South, eight-tenths of a mile east of State Road 59, Thursday morning with Clay County Highway Superintendent Pete Foster.

"We replaced the bridge with a flat car, added new guardrails and re-channeled the creek to allow for better water flow," Foster said.

The bridge had been built in 1928 and had a width of 15 feet, 9 inches, which with the increased size of farm equipment, had become to small for farmers to transport equipment from field to field.

"With the installation of the flat car, the width has been expanded out to 20 feet, 1 inch between the guardrails," Commissioner Paul Sinders said. "The replacement was also needed because the bridge had begun to deteriorate."

BLS Contractors, Inc., Bowling Green, won the bid to replace the bridge earlier in the year at a cost of $53,100, which saves the county a large sum of money compared to if they had chosen to do a Federal Bridge Project.

"The cost of a conventional bridge replacement using a Federal Bridge Project would cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $150,000 to the county," Commissioner President Charlie Brown said.

The commissioners have taken this route for replacing bridges to save the county money, and it has turned into a banner year for the commissioners.

This was the 35th county bridge the commissioners have replaced throughout the last couple of decades, and the fifth this year alone with more planned.

"Work is being done to replace another bridge on CR 1200 S with a flat car, and we plan to have four more replaced with tank cars by the end of this year," Foster said.

Sinders said being able to do all this work and, at the same time, save the county money has been a joy.

"Our money is limited, and we are working hard to stretch the dollars in an efficient way to provide new bridges for the citizens of this county," he said. "To be in office for nearly a year and have done all this great work for the residents has been very rewarding."

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