The 60-year-old bridge on Pulaski County Road 400 East over Mill Creek is set to be replaced. The county commissioners Tuesday approved contracts to allow Jeff Larrison with United Consulting to begin working on the design. “We’ve been looking at this since August of 2017,” Larrison told the commissioners. “This bridge is way up on your priority list.”
Highway Superintendent Terry Ruff noted that the bridge sees a lot of traffic. “We had to lower the load limit, I believe, a year ago on the dang thing,” he said. “And it’s getting to the place now that if that bridge, something major would go wrong with it, that’s everybody’s shortcut, basically, from Monterey, the trucks.”
Larrison said the goal is to have plans in place, so the county can apply for Community Crossings funding later this year or early next year. “When you have a project under contract or even better, shovel-ready, those really appeal to INDOT because that shows you’re committed,” he explained. “You’ve got money in the game, as opposed to ‘Well, if we get the money, we’ll do this.’ It really looks better when you’ve already got some skin in the game, and having the project shovel-ready makes a huge difference. In over 90 percent of the times we’ve submitted those projects, they’ve been accepted and awarded.”
The total projected cost is estimated to be almost $783,000, but Larrison expects the actual number to be lower, once more details are worked out. The Community Crossings grant would cover 75 percent of the construction portion of that cost.
Larrison said construction will be able to be done within a 120-day period, and they plan to set up the schedule to avoid inconveniencing farmers during the harvest season.