(SHOALS) - Leo Rumschlag, engineer, presented the Martin County Commissioners with his bi-annual bridge inspection report.
The Martin County Journal reports, Rumschlag said Martin County has 44 bridges that are more than 20-feet long which is all the inspection covers. He said he is recommending six bridges for replacement and
there are a lot of bridges in need of attention.
The bridges mentioned during the meeting needing replacing are:
* Deep Cut Lake Road, which is currently closed due to damage from a semi-truck colliding into it.
* Indian Springs Road over Sulfur Creek which has a 15-ton weight limit and holes in
the steel beams.
* Hart Road over Boggs Creek by the fairgrounds which he said is a narrow one-lane
bridge that has a three- or four-ton weight limit currently and is leaning a bit. "It's in
pretty bad shape," said Rumschlag.
* Mt. Pleasant Road, which has beams that are way undersized and has a foundation that is starting to be undermined by the creek.
* Witt Lane, contains two culverts, one of which Rumschlag said is starting to develop
holes in the bottom.
Rumschlag also provided the commissioners with a report on all the county's steel-truss
bridges and a binder with a listing of each of the 44 bridges and their conditions.
Commissioner Dan Gregory asked Rumschlag how Martin County compared to other
counties he inspects on bridge condition.
Rumschlag replied that of the 92 Indiana counties, he would say Martin County ranks
in the lower one-third. He said of the seven counties he works with, "I can't think of a single one that is in worse condition than what you're in now." He noted though that some
of those counties, such as Knox, have more than 300 bridges.
Gregory then asked Rumschlag if the counties he works in have the wheel tax in place.
Rumschlag replied that many, but not all of them do. Gregory said he asked because the
county receives $130,000 a year in the bridge budget and he was thinking of future funding possibilities.
Resident Gene Fromm came before the commissioners to find out if
the bridge on Deep Cut Lake Road is going to be replaced and how long it would be until
that happens. The bridge was damaged back in February when a semi driver ran into it
twice trying to cross.
County Attorney Dave Lett, who has been working with the semi driver's insurance company since February, said he received a phone call from the insurance
provider this week but hadn't had an opportunity to call them back.
Fromm said that at the last commissioners' meeting Lett said he was waiting on a phone call.
Dru Fromm also spoke up saying that having the bridge out is a huge inconvenience to
those residents who live on the road.
Gene Fromm asked what the commissioners were waiting on and why it was dependant
on a phone call.
Commissioner Paul George said they were waiting to find out from the insurance company how much they were going to pay to see if it would be enough to replace the bridge.
He said an estimated cost on replacing would be $550,000 and there isn't money in the
budget for the county to do that on their own.
Commissioner Gregory said they would encourage the county attorney to get an answer
from the insurance company soon.
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