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Plan will prioritize bridge repairs

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A maintenance plan for Montgomery County’s 172 bridges will identify a list of crossings in highest need of repair.

“There’s no bridges that are on the verge of collapsing or anything,” said Montgomery County Engineer Jim Peck, who briefed the board of commissioners about the plan Monday. “It’s these bridges that we haven’t maintained in the past and now that we haven’t done preventative maintenance, that is all catching up with us.”

The 10-year plan, which is expected to be finished early next year, will look at the condition of each bridge — including those in the Crawfordsville city limits, all of which the county maintains. The plan will prioritize the structures in the worst condition and stick estimated price tags on the repairs.

Money for projects will come from the county’s cumulative bridge fund. The county is paying Indianapolis-based consulting firm American Structurepoint $12,000 to help build the plan.

Sixteen Montgomery County bridges were rated poor in 2018, according to the National Bridge Inventory. Structures currently on the county’s radar include Jim Davis Bridge, which needs $1.3 million worth of repairs, and the westbound bridge from Darlington, carrying an estimated $900,000 cost.

The county is also preparing to replace bridges on C.R. 750E between C.R. 700S and 750S, and C.R. 100W just north of Interstate 74.

In other business, commissioners approved an ordinance to vacate C.R. 260S. The gravel stretch off Ladoga Road has been a dumping ground for trash.

“The county went out and kind of cleaned it up a bit, but of course didn’t stop [more dumping],” area resident Lori Miller told commissioners. “That’s why we’re not sorry to have it closed.”

Highway department crews will remove the trash and barricades will be placed blocking the road.

Also in other business, commissioners:

• Approved seeking bids for a landfill stabilization project. Penguin Random House has offered the county 37,000 yards of dirt for the dump.

• Opened bids for new paint and carpeting in the clerk’s office. Bids were received from BK Painting, A Brush of Color and Zahn’s Floor Covering.

The commissioners next regular meeting has been rescheduled to 8 a.m. Dec. 20 due to the Christmas holiday.

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