Land Acquisition for Monterey Bridge Project Nearly Complete

Pulaski County Commissioners Tracey Shorter, Kenneth Boswell, Michael Tiede
The land acquisition process is underway for the Monterey Bridge project. The project involves the construction of a new bridge to route traffic away from the Monterey Bridge, which is too small and unsafe for regular traffic but cannot be removed because of its historical nature.

Jeff Larrison of United Consulting told the commissioners this week that the purchase of six of the nine parcels of land to be acquired were ready to be signed by the commissioners. Another parcel of land in the size of 83 square feet was purchased for $400 and did not require a signature. There is a conflict with the purchase of the remaining two parcels, however, as counter-offers were returned by the landowners who requested more money than the county had offered.

One of the landowners was offered $43,000 for his property, but had an appraisal performed himself that valued the land at $63,000, but Larrison says that appraisal was very flawed in how it calculated that figure. A motion was passed to raise their offer to $48,000 for the property.

A counter-offer was also received from the landowners of the second parcel. The county originally offered $11,300 for the parcel, but the landowner countered with $15,900, which the commissioners ultimately agreed to.

If the properties are acquired in time for the bids to be let in spring, Larrison is hopeful that construction on the new bridge will be finished before winter.