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Jackson County Commissioners May Sue State Over Covered Bridge Project
Updated September 16, 2016 7:35 AM
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(BROWNSTOWN) - The Jackson County commissioners might opt to sue the state after the contractor has incurred more than $42,000 in fine from the state.

Duncan Robertson Inc. of Franklin moved most of its equipment from the site of the bridge along County Road 200N in Hamilton Township between Seymour and Brownstown earlier this year.

The 355-foot-long bridge, built in 1876 by Joseph J. Daniels, was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 7.

The Seymour Tribune reports, the company was awarded a $1.1 million contract for the project in early 2015, and the work had a completion date of July 31 of this year. The work, which includes replacement of some of the wood beams and roof and replacing the joists under the bridge, is far from complete.

The company can be fined as much as $1,500 a day after the deadline unless the state grants an extension.

Project engineer Brad Isaacs, who is with Janssen and Spaans Engineering Inc. of Indianapolis, said he has been told by the state to keep track of the fines. He's also responsible for completing paperwork related to the federal funds that are being used for the work.

Jackson County is the sponsor of the project and is paying 20 percent of the costs, while a National Historic Covered Bridge grant is funding the rest. The Indiana Department of Transportation administers federal monies and assures compliance with federal standards.

County officials recently was able to obtain documents related to a performance bond for the project and other documents related to the project from the Indiana Department of Transportation and their name is not on them.

Now the commissioners believe the only way the bridge will get repaired is if the county sues the state.

But County Attorney Susan Bevers says that will be a lengthy process, and commissioners might want to first consider contacting their U.S. congressmen, U.S. senators and state officials.

The delays were caused after the company failed to meet the specifications for materials for the project and what material they did provide was rejected because it was subpar.

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