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Commissioners Address Paving And Bridge Closures
Updated July 16, 2014 7:39 AM | Filed under: Politics
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(BEDFORD) - Lawrence County Highway Superintendent David Holmes told the commissioners Tuesday morning that weather conditions has slowed the progress of paving county roads.

Crews will be paving Leatherwood Road from Brown Station Road to Standish Steel Road Tuesday (today) from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. No traffic will be allowed through.

On Thursday and Friday, crews will pave East and South Kenray Lake Roads and Myers Road. The roads will be closed from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. both days and no traffic will be allowed through.

Holmes also discussed the condition of several bridges in the county.

Officials closed Bridge No.54 on Jasper McKeaigg Road and Bridge 53 in Fort Ritner, both truss bridges, after inspectors found damage to the beams.

The damage was done by the de-icing material the county used on roads for snow removal and age.

"There is a pretty steep hill to the south side of that bridge and the run off containing de-icing material drained right onto the south end of the bridge," Holmes says. "That was where most of the damage was."

Bridge 54 was built in 1897 and rehabbed in 1982.

"We have asked for a fracture critical assessment for the bridges which will look at the joints on those two bridges and we are waiting for those results," he added.

Bridge 199, a concrete bridge on Tunnelton Dennison Road, was also closed.

"One beam failed and another one of the six beams is failing," Holmes says. "We have a couple of options - we could replace the two damaged beams or rebuild the bridge. I recommend we build a new bridge. If two beams have failed and we replace them at half the price of a new bridge what is to say in a couple of years the other beams which are 35 years old won't fail. If you (the commissioners) declare the bridge a state of emergency we can bypass a lot of the paperwork and get quotes quickly and get to work replacing the bridge."

The commissioners voted to declare a state of emergency and Holmes will now seek bids from at least three companies to build a new bridge.

In other business:

* Sheriff Sam Craig reported there are 121 inmates in the jail, 30 of those are females and 3 are Department of Correction holds. The state jail inspector was at the jail last week and will be submitting a report on his finding and the state fire marshal made a surprise visit and found some lettering over one of the doors needed replaced.

* The commissioners appointed Amanda May to the Bedford Public Library board.

* Emergency Management Director Valerie Luckhauer introduced her new intern Kate Grove, a student at Ball State. Luckhauer also told the commissioners she will be represent Lawrence County at a military exercise at Camp Atterbury next week.

* The commissioners voted to renew a contract with Thompson Reuters, who handles the county's tax software, for three years.

"There is a $754 increase, for this year with no increases for the remaining of the contract," says Auditor Jody Edwards.

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