Commissioners Approve Hire of Project Overseer for Bridge Project

Steve Siddall

Starke County Highway Superintendent Steve Siddall and Ken Minett from Butler, Fairman, and Seufert met with the Starke County Commissioners regarding the hire of a project inspector to oversee the repairs on Bridge 156. The County has had an inspector for all bridge projects in the past, and the previous Superintendent was qualified to inspect and oversee these projects as well.

Minett told the Commissioners that hiring an inspector is paramount to the safety of the bridge, because it’s possible for contractors to leave out vital rebar, use incorrect steel, or make a small mistake that could sacrifice the integrity of the structure. Without an inspector, said Minett, the consequences are unknown and could be staggering.

“Well you never know, because, until that happens, you don’t know,” said Minett.

The Commissioners were interested in having Siddall earn the qualification to oversee these projects, and learned that INDOT offers a 3-month course to earn the project engineer qualification at a school in Lafayette. Commissioner Dan Bridegroom suggested the Commissioners hire an inspector and have Siddall “shadow” him for the experience and attend the course as well.

The Commissioners agreed to hire an inspector for the project at a maximum of $29,000. The total cost of the inspector has yet to be determined, because the cost is hourly and varies depending on which inspector is on the site. Inspectors will not be supervising the project at all times, but they will only come out to oversee when there is crucial work being done.