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Sandpit Road Will Open Monday
Updated August 23, 2017 7:14 AM
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(BEDFORD) - Lawrence County Highway Superintendent David Holmes told the Lawrence County Commissioners Tuesday morning that Bridge 133 on Sandpit Road will be opened early Monday morning.

The number one cause of bridge deterioration is corrosion and Friday night CLR Construction Inc. put a latex-modified concrete deck on Bridge 133. Latex overlay is usually placed on a bridge deck to reduce infiltration of water and chloride ions and improve skid resistance, ride quality, and surface appearance.

"The new deck was laid during nighttime hours when temperatures are cooler," Holmes told the commissioners. "They began laying it Friday night and finished up Saturday morning. The deck has to cure for 7 days. Our crews will begin working on the approaches Friday."

Holmes praised CLR for their hard work and commitment in getting the job done in only 40 days.

The bridge will be open to traffic this Monday at 7 a.m.

"I appreciate everyone's patience and I apologize for the inconvenience," he added.

Plans are moving forward on Bridge 67 in Lawrenceport. INDOT approved Butler Fairman Seufert to do the design work.

"Work should begin in January and be completed by April," Holmes added.

INDOT also approved the engineering firm to consult on historic Bridge 150 over Mill Creek.

The commissioners also approved a contract with White River Co-Op to provide LP Gas to the highway department garages and offices.

In Other Business:

Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer says ECS - Electronic Communication Systems, Inc.​​​​​​​ has submitted a bid to replaces the guide wires at the communication town located on Kings Ridge Road, but she continues to seek more bids.

The tower, built in 1961, is 320-feet tall and has 36 guide wires securing it to the ground and the aging guide wires need to be replaced. The county has owned the tower for more than 40 years with little to no repairs being made on the tower.

Commissioner Rodney Fish has secured a firm to remove the timber and dead trees from around the tower. The tower sets on 11.3 acres, but only 4 to 5 acres have trees on it.

"We need to clear the trees away from the tower," says Fish. "This firm will do it without costing the county and there may be a little left over to help pay for the new guide wires."

But Fish says, there is not much marketable timber on the property.

"We will split the profits 50/50," he added. "But we are not looking at much, most of it is bulk wood and they are only getting about $10 a ton and a semi is only about $240. We were very lucky to get someone to come and do this."


The Lawrence County Sheriff and Holmes conducted several road studies in the county.

They requested the commissioners draft an ordinance to set the speed limit on several county roads at 35 miles per hour.

They include:

  • Wallner Quarry Road
  • Bartlettsville Road
  • Shawswick School Road from US 50 East to Leatherwood Road
  • Maple Leaf Road

Last meeting, the commissioners passed an ordinance to make a three-way stop at the intersection of Wallner Quarry and Bartlettsville roads.

"This was in the best interest of public safety," Commissioner President Gene McCracken said at that meeting. "We have revamped the road making it safer, but decided we needed to take this step to make it even safer."

But resident Alan Norman is concerned with that stop sign placement.

"There has got to be another alternative," he says.

Norman is concerned that large trucks filled with grain will not be able to stop at the stop sign and could cause an accident and it is difficult for the trucks to build up speed after stopping at the stop sign.

"I don't mean to open a can of worms," he added "But something bad is going to happen. I watched 12 vehicles and out of those only 2 stopped at the stop sign. My question is - is the stop sign staying forever or are there other options."

The commissioners say for now the stop sign is staying.

"I would rather have a rear-end collision then some of the other accidents we have had in the area recently," says Commissioner Dustin Gabhart.

Commissioner Rodney Fish agreed.

"One the public gets it in their mind set that the stop sign is there I am confident things will improve," he added. "Right now the stop sign is our best option, it's not perfect but the best option."


Southern Indiana Development Commission Rex Knight presented a contract for a $230,000 grant, funded by the Office of Community Rural Affairs, which will be used to demolish the old Huron School building and restore the property to a green space. The county will have to pay $27,500 of the total cost, which will be paid for with riverboat funds. Engineers estimate the cost of the project at $257,500.

Knight estimates the funds will be released by the end of the year.

"Once the deed work is completed we can begin work," he stated. "It is almost completed. They are about half way done."


Sheriff Mike Branham reported that there were 164 inmates in the county jail on Tuesday morning, of those 47 were female, 17 Level 6 offenders and two Department of Correction hold.

Sheriff Branham is working to paint and fix the lighting at the jail. Those were two of the major suggestions during the recent jail inspection. Sheriff Branham has 180 days to have a plan of action in place.

"The cost will be just over $1,700," he added. "Which was more than I anticipated."

Sheriff Branham has a firm out of Daviess County willing to do the job.

"This will be paid out of the commissary funds," he added.

Repairs will be coming soon to the restroom facilities at the jail. The bathrooms date back to 1989 and does not meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Repairs will be paid for with funds from the building repair budget.

"I am waiting on the sample material to be delivered," he added. "Work should begin in 4 to 6 weeks."

Sheriff Branham says officials with the Lawrence County Health Department completed their inspection.

"They found no air quality issues and only a few minor things like some cleaning solutions that were not properly labeled, some flaking paint and an old leak in the ceiling area," he added.


The commissioners approved a contract with Espy Services to conduct a utility audit for the county.

Espy Services is an independent telecommunications and energy auditing firm that will work to find money owed to the county by scrutinizing the county's utility bills for errors. Espy Services will seek out those errors and then request refunds.

ESPY will be paid 50 percent of funds recovered. If no funds are recovered ESPY is paid nothing.


County Recorder Myron Rainey presented an ordinance that will allow his office to charge 13 cents for bulk copy fees for county records.

The commissioners approved a contract with to oversee providing those records to banks and title companies and others requesting county documents. is providing the service free to the county.

The county will receive 10 cents while will receive 3 cents of the 13 cent fee and provide the online access to the records.


The commissioners granted permission for Brian Elliott to complete the paperwork necessary for the county to vacate 10 feet of Depot Street in Fort Ritner to the property owner.

A bank that is attempting to finance property on Depot Street, but the mobile home is sitting on a county right of way. The home t sits 8 feet into the 60 foot right of way. The bank is requesting an encroachment letter so they can continue with the financing. But on the advice of County County Attorney David Smith the commissioners voted to vacate the lane back to the owner if the proper paperwork is in order and there were no objections from the adjoining landowner. Those landowners were at the meeting Tuesday and said they had not objections.


The commissioners re-appointed Cindy Epson to the South Central Regional Sewer District.

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