Bridges on the mend: County accepts bids to replace three structures
The county board took a step toward replacing three of the more than 90 deficient bridges in the county.
The board accepted bids to replace bridges in Waltham, Sargeant and Bennington townships on county roads 1, 7 and 8.
Though the projects are expected to begin later this year, they’re not expected to disturb farmers during harvest.
When asked if the construction would affect the harvest, Public Works Director Mike Hanson said work won’t begin “until harvest is completed or nearly completed, so we don’t block anybody off.”
In late September, U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., is calling for a plan he said would kill two birds with one stone: put Minnesotans back to work and improve the state’s infrastructure.
According the report, Mower County has the second highest percentage of deficient bridges in the state at 23.5 percent. The study stated Mower County has 77 deficient structures out of 327. But in April, Public Works Director Mike Hanson said there were about 99 deficient bridges out of a total of 369. That would put Mower County at the highest percentage in the state, at 26.8 percent.
However, Hanson recently said the number of deficient bridges has decreased since then, and the county is constantly working to bring the number down.
Along with the three bridge projects Tuesday, the county also approved the first phase of a $3.6 million renovation and restoration project on the Roosevelt Bridge, which spans the Cedar River on Fourth Street SE between Fourth Avenue and Sixth Avenue.
The county has a plan to replace about six bridges each year. Hanson said more projects will be discussed in the future.