Results of inspection anticipated in September.

An in-depth inspection of Marion County's longest bridge is underway, according to Lyndon Bode, the county's presiding commissioner.

The inspection that is being conducted by Lochner Engineering of Kansas City began Monday.

“It should go through Friday,” said Bode of the inspection. “In the meantime as they are looking at the bridge it's closed during the daytime. It's open again in the evening.”

According to Bode, a three-person team was involved in the inspection process when he visited the bridge that crosses the North Fabius River.

“I don't know if we've ever had one (bridge) with this much of an inspection,” he said. “It's a good inspection though because it is an older bridge and definitely the county wants to make sure its safe and MoDOT does, too.”

The 201-foot bridge, which has a weight limit of 8 tons, was built in 1929 as part of U.S. 61. It is estimated that the span over the North Fabius River became a part of the county road system in the mid '70s after a new section of U.S. 61 was completed in that area.

“This year when MoDOT did its biannual inspection of our county bridges they asked if we would agree to a cost share for a more in-depth structural inspection,” said Bode.

The total cost of the inspection will be $34,064. The county's portion will be $6,812.

“We're able to use soft match credits, which we had built up with MoDOT, to cover our $6,800 so no cash is coming out of the county treasury,” said Bode.

When a county pays for all or part of the cost of a replacement bridge that expense is considered "soft match" money which can then be applied as the 20 percent local match required by the Bridge Replacement Off-System program, provided the "soft match" bridge is built to state specifications. In this instance, instead of a new bridge the county is being permitted to use the “soft match” money as its inspection match.

The bridge report is anticipated in September.

“If they find something they don't know about they'll let us know right away, otherwise we'll receive a report from MoDOT about what the findings were,” said Bode.

In February, MoDOT recommended that the County Commission have a closer look taken at the Taylor bridge on County Road 313 after it was noted in the last couple of state inspections of the bridge that small holes in the road beams under the bridge deck had been observed. The same inspection also revealed flaking paint and rust on the span.

In other business during Monday's County Commission meeting.

• A change order of $19,557 was approved for the jail parking lot project after the contractor, Graupman Construction of Palmyra, found the base wasn't adequate.

“Basically that (cost) will cover more base rock in the employee parking area,” said Bode.

• An additional $11,600 was OK'd for the sidewalk program that's underway at the courthouse in Palmyra.

“It's for removing existing sidewalk and placing more sidewalk,” said Bode. “Most of that (additional sidewalk) will be done in the very front of the courthouse.”

The sidewalk replacement contractor is George Lee Jr. of Hannibal.

“He's moving right along on the project,” said Bode.

 

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com