Starke Commissioners Looking to Replace Highway Superintendent

Steve Siddall

Starke County is on the hunt for a new highway superintendent, after the commissioners this week decided it was “time to make a change,” according to Starke County Commissioner Kathy Norem. Steve Siddall had held the position of highway superintendent for the last four years, but the commissioners decided it was time to switch it up in the best interest for the county.

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Starke County Commissioners To Review Bidding Process

Starke County Commissioners

The Starke County Commissioners this week heard from Highway Superintendent Steve Siddall, who informed them of a new method of handling bids that he said will simplify the process.

Siddall explained that during the last audit by the State Board of Accounts, he learned his department is in full compliance. On top of that, Siddall said he learned of a new way to handle the bidding process that came to be in 2010 that they were not previously aware of.

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Starke County Bridge 51 Replacement Underway

Steve Siddall

Starke County Highway Superintendent Steve Siddall presented the county commissioners this week with an update on the progress of repairs on Bridge 51, located on County Road 700 South in North Bend Township. The commissioners had accepted a bid in July from LaPorte Construction to perform the replacement of the bridge at a cost of $224,328.25 – the lowest bid submitted.

According to Siddall, the bridge needed replaced because the wooden caps that had been installed on the bridge in the 1950s have crushed and failed, and he says this bridge was scheduled to be replaced in 2011.

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Starke County Cleanup Efforts Continue In Wake Of Storm

Crews work on the tower at the Starke County Sheriff's Department

The Starke County Sheriff’s Department’s radio tower suffered quite a bit of damage from this week’s storm. Sheriff Oscar Cowen says a maintenance crew has come in and removed the portion of the tower that was damaged, and the department has had to re-adapt the antenna to allow them to stay in operation until they can have the tower replaced.

Currently, Cowen says they are waiting for the insurance company to come out and look at the damage to determine what they will replace it with, or what kind of antenna they will be putting up in its place. Cowen says they are not sure how long it will take before the damage is repaired, but he has heard the tower itself could cost anywhere from $35,000 and up – but they won’t have a certain figure until the insurance adjustor gives them the OK to have a company repair the damage.

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Starke County Commissioners Accept Bid For Bridge 51 Replacement

Starke County Commissioners Kathy Norem, Dan Bridegroom and Jennifer Davis

The Starke County Commissioners this week accepted a bid from LaPorte Construction to perform the replacement of Bridge 51.

The highest bid received was from Yates Construction, Inc., for $325,445.33, while the lowest bid presented was from LaPorte Construction Company, Inc. for $224,328.25.

Five other bids were presented from companies throughout Indiana and Michigan, which the commissioners took under advisement to give Highway Superintendent Steve Siddall time to review the bids and decide which bid he would recommend.

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Starke County Commissioners To Receive Bridge Update

The Starke County Commissioners will hear from Highway Commissioner Steve Siddall on the progress of bridge repair projects today.

Siddall said Friday that Bridge #9, located at 700 North and 500 East, is scheduled to be open within two weeks. The deck floor has been poured, with completion of the approaches and guardrail installation remaining.

Bridge #62 is probably five weeks behind #9 in being completed. Siddall said the end bents have been poured already. The bridge is located at Range Road and 500 East.

Finally, the commissioners will hear from the engineering firm contracted to provide services on the repair of Bridge #51 today.