CHARLESTON -- Mississippi County residents should see the bridge on County Road 522 over the Wolf Hole Lateral out by the end of the year and a new bridge in its place by the end of January, weather permitting.
Dennis Cox, an engineer for Smith and Co. of Poplar Bluff, brought in paperwork for Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg to sign and updated commissioners on the project during their regular meeting Thursday.
Advertisements seeking bids for the bridge construction will appear Tuesday, according to Cox. The bid opening is scheduled for Dec. 18.
Cox said the contractor could begin in mid to late January following the bid award and the Missouri Department of Transportation's approval.
Now is a good time to seek bids, Cox said, as bridge contractors in the area are finishing projects and are looking for a project in that time frame.
The new bridge will be single-span concrete precast beam bridge. It will be 65 feet long, 24 feet wide and will have 16-inch-tall guardrails, Cox said.
The existing bridge, which consists of a steel beam and "a wood deck with no guardrails," according to Cox, is 61 feet long and only 16 feet wide. The project will also smooth approaches to the bridge.
The county's allocated Off-Systems Bridge Replacement Program funds will be used to pay for the new bridge. The county's in-kind contributions toward the project will mostly consist of removing the existing bridge.
Cox predicted that unlike a previous bridge the county removed this one's removal will be relatively easy. "This bridge will probably take two days, if that," he said.
"We will probably take it out before the first of the year," Blumenberg said.
As there are alternate routes that do not take motorists far out of their way, the bridge closure will not be a hardship, according to Blumenberg.
In other business Thursday:
* Commissioners approved lease-purchase financing with Focus Bank for the purchase of a paving machine.
"They offered us the lowest rate on interest," County Clerk Junior DeLay said.
The paving machine cost $39,500. The debt will be paid off with four annual payments of $10,945.78.
Now that the county has a paving machine, "we'll get those roads fixed up," Blumenberg said.
* DeLay said the county is slated to be added to another Federal Emergency Management Agency list for reimbursement.
He said the county is seeking reimbursement through FEMA's Public Assistance program for the costs of responding to storm damage from Hurricane Ike's winds.
"It's just debris removal," DeLay said.