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Commissioners Open Bids For Bridge Inspections and Repairs

Last updated on Wednesday, June 5, 2013

(BEDFORD) - The Lawrence County Commissioners opened bids Tuesday morning for bridge inspections for the 125 bridges in the county.

Bridge Supervisor Bob Dillon says he will begin looking over the bids and rating them on a state approval scale and hopes to present his recommendation at the next commissioners meeting.

The county also received two bids to repair bridge number 55.

The bridge is on Leesville Road over Guthrie Creek, between Leesville and Fort Ritner.

Dillon hopes to have the bridge repaired and open by the time school starts.

Those bids were also taken under advisement and should be awarded at the next meeting.

Dillon also reported that bridge 75 on Dunn Bridge Road is now open to traffic.

In other business:

* The commissioners table Lawrence County Sheriff Sam Craig's request to add a line item in the county budget to place Department of Corrections funds earned for housing DOC inmates. The county is paid $35 a day to house an inmate. Craig would like the funds put in an account to be used for jail maintenance and improvements.

He also requested a line item be established to place the funds the county received from U.S. Government equipment that was donated to the department and was scrapped because it was no longer operational. The county received $22,500 after scrapping the items.

Craig was not present at the meeting because he was attending training in Nashville. The requests were presented by Chief Deputy Mike Branham.

* Branham reported there were 137 inmates at the jail, with 25 of those being women and 21 DOC holds.

* Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer reported her department is working on a resource list for equipment if needed during a disaster or emergency.

Luchauer says she will be sending out agreements with area businesses that will give the county first option if the equipment is needed during an emergency.

* Commissioner Bill Spreen had a concern about flooding at the old railroad bed that runs from Bedford to Crane.

Spreen says since the railroad has been abandoned, the railroad has not done any upkeep to that area culverts. Now the area floods when there are heavy rains. Not only do the roads flood but so do the area fields. Flooding is especially a problem on Dillman Road.

Attorney Dave Smith and Dillon say the issue is complicated on who actually would be responsible for the repairs because those rails are now in the Rails To Trails program.

Spreen was also concerned with the bridge trestle on Ind. 450, saying large trucks and farm equipment cannot get over the bridge.

Smith says several landowners have filed suits against the railroad and Senator Brent Steele was familiar with the cases.

Spreen says he will contact Sen. Steele to see if the county could get some advice on how to proceed.

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