County Board approves engineering agreement for township bridge program

By Gary Scott on May 7, 2018 at 1:10pm

The Morgan County Board of Commissioners approved an engineering agreement for a program involving repairs to various bridges in certain townships in the area.

There were three items on the agenda for this morning’s Board of Commissioners meeting that were discussed at more length than others. Leading the discussion for all three of those items was Morgan County Highway Engineer Matt Coultas, as each item pertained to his respective department.

Among the most talked about item was an engineering agreement for a township bridge program. Coultas says the Morgan County Highway Department is in the process of completing its current bridge program in road district three and road district nine. As for the township bridge discussed today, Coultas says that it’s an existing single-span bridge on Arcadia Road that’s nearing the end of its life cycle.

In terms of funding for the township bridge program, Coultas breaks down how the funds for the project are divided up between the state and county levels.

“The township bridge program is basically a funding system that the state provides for the local road district system for bridge replacement. It’s an 80-20 maximum match type of project. Generally, with the county, ten percent is paid for by the county and ten percent is paid for by the road district, and that 80 percent is covered by that particular funding source,” says Coultas.

As for the timeline for when this bridge project might be shovel ready, Coultas says they’ll know more once they have the final cost of the project and when the county receives its next allotment.

“Depending on what the project costs and if the township bridge allotment that’ll be available to us this year will be enough to cover that 80 percent, or we may be waiting for a second allotment the following August, so it could be a year out,” Coultas says.

Following several minutes of discussion, Morgan County Commissioners unanimously voted in favor of entering into an engineering agreement with Hutchison Engineering to complete phase one and phase two of the project, which involves the planning and design of the bridge on Arcadia road.