BENTON - Harlan Duncan of rural Benton is the new
superintendent for the county road and bridge
department. Duncan was hired during Tuesday's meeting
of the Scott County Commission.
Duncan was selected from three applicants to replace
Terry Herndon who will retire from the position at the
end of this year. Herndon has served as the
department's supervisor since he was hired in November
Previously employed by the Scott County Road and
Bridge Department from 1991-1999, Duncan was second in
command before leaving to take another job, according
to Martin Priggel, presiding commissioner. "He knows
the county and the people and should work in very well
there," Priggel said.
"I'm looking forward to it, looking forward to working
with the commissioners," said Duncan. "I was born and
raised in Scott County, lived here all my life. I'm
looking forward to doing the job that needs to be
Duncan will begin Dec. 1, providing an overlap between
the incoming and outgoing supervisors, according to
Scott County is responsible for maintaining 98 bridges
and has a total of about 375 miles of roads to
maintain, 135 miles of which are blacktopped. Other
roads within the county are maintained by the Sikeston
Special Road District and Illmo Special Road District.
In addition to maintaining county roads and bridges,
the county road and bridge department also maintains
drainage ditches within the county that have not yet
been included in ditch districts; controls Johnson
Grass and other noxious weeds by spraying herbicides;
and mows alongside county highways and ditches.
The county road and bridge department has an annual
budget of about $950,000 of which about $300,000 comes
from the road and bridge tax on personal property. The
other $650,000 in revenue comes from the state through
the CART program which distributes gas tax money,
registration fees, vehicle sales tax, and motor
vehicle fees, according to county officials.
Priggel said roughly one-third of the road and bridge
department expenditures are for road and bridge
repairs, one-third goes toward blacktop maintenance,
and one-third takes care of personnel costs. The road
and bridge department currently employees 11 workers
in addition to the supervisor.
The county road and bridge department's heavy
equipment fleet includes four road graders, a large
and small excavator and two mowing tractors.
In August, commissioners received a letter from Mike
Helpingstine, non-state bridge engineer for the
Missouri Department of Transportation's southeast
district, regarding his inspection of Scott County
bridges that complimented the county on the condition
of its roads.
Helpingstine wrote that Scott County's roads were
among the best in the fourteen-county area in which he
Herndon's use of railroad cars to replace obsolete
county bridges where possible has also been applauded
by Helpingstine. "Terry's done a real good job for the
county," said Helpingstine.