After receiving the following from Trigg County 5th District Magistrate Rick Nelson, I decided to donate my weekly column space and allow his words to describe the situation.
I wanted to share an update for the residents on Delmont Church Road and to those who travel that stretch who’ve been inconvenienced by the bridge being out. I first want to thank all of you for your patience as former Judge Executive Stan Humphries, Judge Executive Hollis Alexander, and the Trigg County Fiscal Court Transportation Committee have worked to fix it. While it has been a long wait, please know that much has been going on behind the scenes since day one. We met several times with the original engineers to determine the cause of the bridge going out. After surveying the site and reviewing their plans and negotiating with them over several months, they determined they could not do anything to our satisfaction. It appeared that it went out because a sinkhole developed underneath it.
We then hired a new engineer and met numerous times to consider the options available and the costs for each one. The area was resurveyed and alternatives were offered. We agreed that whatever we did needed to be the best quality suitable to the situation. We also wanted to be a frugal as possible with our budget. Estimates for a new bridge ranged from $175,000 to $260,000.
Former Judge Stan Humphries worked with the state for a reimbursement from an insurance program to cover the cost of building a new bridge. This took some six months since they had to examine the condition of the bridge, review the site and the options that were suitable before they would sign off on how much they would reimburse us. This was one reason for the long delay. Until we knew how much we would be reimbursed, we couldn’t proceed. Fortunately, the state agreed to reimburse us $154,000. We continued to meet with the new engineer and considered his options. We determined that a box beam bridge was best suited for the situation. It also has a longer life span. We recently awarded the bid at a very competitive price ($162,000). So the cost from our county transportation budget is relatively minimal.
The Fiscal Court Transportation Committee had a pre-construction meeting with the contractor and engineer on July 10. The good news is that the spans are being built now and construction will begin on the week of July 29. It is projected to be completed by the end of August. I know it has been a long wait for everyone and an inconvenience too and I empathize with all affected by this. However, I believe we have accomplished the best fix at the best price to the taxpayers. Again, I appreciate the patience of the residents in the area. If I can be of further help on this please call me at (270) 719-1640. Thank you.
Richard “Rick” Nelson is Trigg County’s Fifth District Magistrate.