Recently appointed Starke County Highway Director Stephen “Rik” Ritzler this week presented the commissioners with an update on the Bridge 43 project, and informed them that the preliminary plans for the bridge are nearly complete with the help of engineering firm Jones Petrie Rafinski. Ritzler told the commissioners that JPR is designing the bridge on County Road 1000 East over the Robbins Ditch, and they will soon be able to send the project out for bids.
“Plans are almost done. We need to get the permits and the next step is to put it out for bid for construction and then starting a construction schedule after that,” said Ritzler.
The project entails a complete bridge replacement, and Ritzler said the new bridge is similar to Bridge 51, located on County Road 700 South in North Bend Township, which was recently replaced under the supervision of former highway superintendent Steve Siddall. The bid for the replacement of Bridge 51 came in at $224,328.25, and Ritzler said that the estimates for this replacement came in at the low end of $225,000 – very close to the same cost.
Ritzler recommended a schedule to the commissioners involving a bid opening date of May 20. He said Bridge 43 will come out a bit shorter than Bridge 51 and slightly wider, and he expects the construction would take roughly 90 days.