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Bridges, Funding And Paving Topics Of Lawrence County Commissioners
Updated April 8, 2015 7:28 AM | Filed under: Politics
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(BEDFORD) - The topics of bridges, funding and paving were the topics of discussion of the Lawrence County Commissioners Tuesday morning.

CLR contracting will replace Bridge 89 on Guthrie Road, with used beams for $358,225.

Highway Superintendent David Holmes requested a total appropriation from the Lawrence County Council of $420,000 in March to cover the cost of the replacement and related expenses, such as approaches and guard rails for the bridge.

There are other bridges in the county that need work, but funding could be a problem.

Commissioners David Flinn, Chris May and Bill Spreen approved spending funds to repair Bridge 82 on Judah Logan Road over Salt Creek. Crews will replace the beams with used ones, saving some money. The beams were damaged by salt used to melt ice on county roads.

"This is going to cut us real short on funds," Holmes added.

Officials are still looking into making repairs truss Bridge 54 on Jasper McKeaigg Road over Guthrie Creek near Leesville.

Holmes says officials have a few options, but all are going to cost more than $150,000.

"And that solution will only last a minimum of 3 to 5 years," Holmes says.

The commissioners asked that Holmes contact CLR to see what it would cost to replace the bridge and report back to the commissioners.

Repair work on Bridge 89, which is located over Salt Creek on Guthrie Road, should begin when school is out.

Resident Ron Pridemore addressed the commissioners with concerns that the county does not have a bridge engineer on staff.

Commissioner President Chris May told Pridemore they are actively recruiting an engineer.

"But our benefit package does not add up to what they can receive in the private market," May added. "And we are contracting with an engineer on current projects."

Besides the shortfall of funding for bridge repairs, paving cost is always a concern.

Holmes says the hot asphalt plants should be open soon.

"Crews are working now to prepare the roads for paving," he added. "Hot mix should become available soon."

Residents need to be patient as crews will get to potholes and road paving as quickly as they can.

In other business:

Sheriff Mike Branham had some good news for commissioners - $15,000 would be deposited into the county's general funds.

"The money is for a dormant fund that has accumulated over decades," Branham says. "There is no way to track where the money came from, but we do know it was not from a tax levy."

By law the money must be deposited into the county's general funds.

The commissioners approved Branham to spend $39,820 to pave the parking lot north of the jail. A 2.5 base will be poured, so the parking lot meets commercial standards. Flynn & Sons Excavating and Paving was awarded the contract.

Branham also submitted the sheriff's department's annual report.

He reported there were 114 inmates housed at the jail Tuesday morning, of those 20 were women and 6 were Department of Correction holds.

John Pruett addressed the commissioners with praise for Lawrence County Veterans Affair officer Bradford Baugh.

"Brad is very professional, concerned and committed to the care of veterans," Pruett added. "Not only during office hours but after hours. He listens to concerns and questions and if he doesn't have the answers he finds them. We need more people like Brad in every office in Lawrence County."

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