County finishes prep work on bridge project

By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News


A railroad bridge on Franklin Avenue north of 235th Street is on the radar for a makeover, but no one is sure when the reconstruction will occur.

The county, however, is crossing its ?t?s? and dotting its ?i?s? in preparation for the work. During their meeting Tuesday, county supervisors approved final plans for the bridge and also approved the purchase of the right-of-way for the project.

However, the train is halted pending approval by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, and Jake Hotchkiss, county engineer, said he has no idea when that approval will come.

?We have our end done, now we are waiting on the railroad,? Hotchkiss reported. ?We don?t have a bid-letting date, but I am still hopeful for a February letting.?

Hotchkiss said originally he wanted a January letting because he believes the bids would be more reasonable in January.

Construction is slated for the summer, the engineer said. ?That, however, may have to be pushed back if we have to wait longer for the railroad.?

The county and state are close to having a land deal finalized, Supervisor Greg Moeller stated. The land is on the Iowa Correctional Facility campus and will be used for the new county law center/jail.

Moeller said he received a call from the Iowa Board of Corrections legal counsel recently and the documents for the transfer are being drafted in the Iowa Attorney General?s Office. Once they are finished, they will be reviewed by the Board of Corrections and then sent to the governor and secretary of state for their signature.

The attorney for the Board of Corrections said the necessary signatures may be in place in two weeks, but Moeller said before the end of the month is more likely.

In his weekly report, Hotchkiss said the culvert replacement project on Nebraska Avenue is basically completed and the road is open to the public. A few minor tasks remain including seeding, but that will have to wait until spring, he said.

Work is also moving smoothly on the new county territory sheds at Wayland and Winfield. Currently, the Wayland shed is being framed. The subcontractor completed concrete work at the Winfield shed last week, and the framing contractor will be working on the Winfield shed this week.

Work last week by secondary-roads employees included: repair work on the Nebraska Avenue bridge; grading on Nebraka Avenue between 230th and 235th streets; mowing; working on signs; hauling resurfacing rock to Tippacanoe and Baltimore townships; and installing erosion control on Nebraska Avenue.

Final business had the supervisors approve the hiring of Gayle Donnolly as a part-time administrative assistant in the county attorney?s office. Donnolly will work approximately 10 hours a week (more if needed) and be paid $13.50 per hour.

Supervisors meet again tomorrow (Thurs.) in regular session at 9.m. in the courthouse.