The Cass County Board of Supervisors’ Board Room was packed Friday morning, with people anxious to learn about the County’s plan for bridge replacements and repairs. Most of those in attendance wanted to know about the plans for the Buck Creek Road bridge. Cass County Engineer Charles Marker told the crowd and the Board, the Bridge over the East Nishnabotna River, is “On the list,” of future replacements, but there was no promise of how soon that might be. He said they might not be financially able to fix the bridge for several years to come.
Cass Co. Engineer Charles Marker
Marker said Cass County receives about $460,000 per year in federal, Highway Bridge Program (HBP) funding. The rest is a 20-percent local match. To be eligible for replacement HBP funds, Marker says a bridge must meet three requirements. The first is that it must have 25 or more vehicles crossing it per day. The next criteria is if they are ‘Structurally deficient,” or “Functionally obsolete.”
A bridge is structurally deficient if it has a weight limit on it. It is functionally obsolete, if the bridge or too narrow or fails to meet height restrictions.
21 bridges in Cass County are functionally obsolete, while 50 are deemed structurally deficient. Marker said in Cass County, there were five bridges on a paved road that in 2013 had an estimated life span of three-years or less. In 2014 six bridges had a life span of two-years or less. In 2013, eight bridges on unpaved roads had a three-year life span or less. In 2014, Marker says three were closed and six had a life span of two-years or less.
Bridge projects, according to Marker, are considered a major project by the Iowa DOT’s time line, and require 42 weeks minimum from the time a concept statement is formulated to the time the project is released for bid letting. In the current bridge timeline (Fiscal Year allocation 2014-2015) Bridge #83 in Cass County (by the Griswold Golf Course) is set to be let in April 2015. It will cost more than one-half million dollars. Bridge 73C (on the Cass/Montgomery County line), is set for May 19, 2015, at a cost of more than $431,000.
In FY 2015-2016, Bridge #20 (south K Road) is on the list for May 2016, while Bridge 347 (on the Cass/Audubon County line), is set for June 2016. Other bridges set for replacement in the near future, include Bridge 17 south of Massena along Yankton Road, and Bridge 134 (located southwest of Massena). Marker says a 30-foot wide bridge costs $5,250 per linear foot for the bridge only, not counting the other preparatory and finishing work.