Cass Supervisors pass resolution on bridge weight limits


February 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors, Thursday, passed a Resolution setting the gross load weight limits for certain secondary road bridges in the County. Cass County Engineer Charles Marker explained that as part of the County’s bridge inspection process, a consultant recommends any changes to posted weight limits based on the inspection results. Marker says there are currently 46 bridges which are below what is termed “Legal limit.” Even if the weight restrictions didn’t change on those particular bridges, the signs must still be put in place.

Marker said they inspect more than 230 bridges in the County. He says 46 out of 230 may seem like a large number, but percentage-wise, they are “Trying to hold our own” and keep up with repairs and replacements. Supervisor Charles Reiken said setting lower limits would create problems for some crop produces because they would have to haul smaller loads more frequently. The solution he said, would be to replace those structures with new bridges. He asked Marker if the issue was going to be more closely explored.

Marker says with the money that’s coming in from the State and/or Federal government for bridge replacement, it takes about three-years to accumulate enough money to replace a bridge of any substantial size. He says the money is not coming in fast enough to replace them, and while they’re replacing as many bridges – usually smaller length structures, 20-to-40 feet — as they can using County crews, they can still only handle about 3 or 4 per year.

In other business, the Supervisors passed a motion awarding a contract for the replacement of a 30-foot bridge over the Nishnabotna River on Lansing Road, to Murphy Heavy Contracting Corporation, of Anita, which had the low bid of $963,826.   The bid amounted to 75-percent of the engineer’s construction estimate. Work is expected to begin no later than May 6th.