The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

May 6, 2013

Fountain delays bridge decision


COVINGTON, Ind. — Fountain County Commissioners delayed a decision again Monday whether to stop work on a new bridge in the northeastern part of the county even though almost $200,000 has been spent on the project.

Bridge No. 97 is northwest of Mellott on County Road 800.

Commissioner Don Hesler said the state is delaying the bid-letting on the project, but the commissioners have received conflicting reports on when that would occur. They have heard December of this year and also December 2014.

“We have some breathing room (in making the decision),” said Commissioner Terry Ellingwood, the president of the three-member commissioners.

Hesler said the county has qualified for an 80 percent federal grant, which would pay for $2.04 million of the project, while the county would kick in $408,000. To date, $194,573 has been spent on the design phase, with $38,914 from the county and $155,659 from the federal grant.

Hesler said the county would have to return $194,573 to the state if the bridge project is stopped.

Hesler estimates that it would cost the county $396,086 to finish the project.

The commissioners are going to discuss the options with the county council at its meeting at 9 a.m. EDT May 20 and could make a decision at the commissioners’ meeting that night.

Commissioners listened to a report about work needed on Bridge No. 119 on the Stone Bluff Road, a of couple miles east of Covington. A 12-ton load limit has been placed on the bridge. Estimates of between $101,000 and $185,000 were heard for the cost of repairs.

In other business, commissioners:

What’s next

Fountain County Commissioners will meet at 6:30 p.m. EDT May 20 at the courthouse.