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Paving And Bridge Projects Begin
Updated March 23, 2016 6:39 AM
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(BEDFORD) - Lawrence County will spend around $1 million to pave and improve county roads this year.

According to Lawrence County Commissioner Bill Spreen, the county accumulated about $2.5 million over the past few years because of fuel savings, low overtime hours and coming in under budget on some of the county's bridge projects.

Lawrence County Highway Superintendent David Holmes told the commissioners that during the Purdue Road School conference INDOT announced that federal transportation funds will be available for paving and bridge projects.

But according to Holmes those funds will not come without strings attached.

"We will have to develop a Transportation Asset Management Plan and they are wanting us to increase our wheel tax," Holmes added.

But the commissioners says increasing the wheel tax is not an option.

"We have heard this story before," Commissioner Bill Spreen added. "When we passed the wheel tax we did it at the maximum so we wouldn't have to increase it and they told us then that they would help us out with paving roads..... now they are saying if we increase the wheel tax they will help us... sounds kind of cheesy to me."

Commissioner Dave Flinn agreed saying, "this board of commissioners will not do that (increase the wheel tax)."

Crews have been preparing roads for paving and replacing culverts.

"The paving bids are due next meeting," Holmes says. "The (asphalt) plants will be open on Monday so we will begin using hot mix to patch."

Holmes says he will seek grant money to design and replace truss Bridge 54 on Jasper McKeaigg Road over Guthrie Creek near Leesville and Mill Creek Bridge.

The old truss bridge will be taken down and then sold to the public.

Crews will be working on the approaches at Bridge 82, on Judah Logan Road over Salt Creek.

Holmes is also working with Bedford City Officials to repair the Otis Park Bridge.

Commissioner Flinn asked Holmes to check into the cost of painting the Otis Park Bridge.

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