By Jim Allen
The Douglas County Road and Bridge Committee met at 9:05 a.m. on February 10, 2021 with Chair Don Munson, Dick Hein, and Gary Luth present. Also present were Jim Crane, County Engineer and others
The work on the rebuilding of the roads in the Wind Turbine Complex is continuing with Chastain and Associates performing soil boring investigation on areas of the roadway. Areas lacking rock will be excavated with poor rock being removed and new rock rebedded in those areas. Hanson engineering will be reviewing the assessments of Chastain and Associates.
The work on the roadways should be out for bid mid-March with an anticipated bid opening on Tuesday April 6, 2021. The County Board will have final control over the plans for roadway work. This will be a “working day” contract which means that days lost to weather or circumstances beyond the contractor’s control will not be counted against the time given in the proposal. When the work begins, the contractor will not be closing more than one intersection at a time. School bus routes will be accommodated as will emergency services and mail routes.
The committee recommended the renewal of the County-Township agreement for county road maintenance. No changes in the agreement were forthcoming. Under this agreement the Township Highway Commissioners are responsible for maintenance of the county roads in their jurisdiction. This includes snow removal, pothole patching, maintaining signs, and other work. The County pays the townships $1,300 per mile of road. The Townships prepare county roads for oiling and chipping but the County reimburses the Township for the road improvements.
The final estimate of cost for the bridge over the Kaskaskia River on County Highway 6 1450 North in Garrett Township is above what was awarded for construction. Therefore the state put $150,000 allowed for construction engineering into the construction portion of the project. This will not allow a consultant so the project will be constructed with 100 percent oversight from the Douglas County Highway Department. Due to the change in funding, the project will not begin by June, but will be let for bids in June.
Ten petitions for County Aid Township Bridge (CATB) were recommended by the committee. The total aid requested is $447,170.00 and includes work in Arcola township (3), Bowdre Township (2), Garrett Township (1), Newman Township ((2), Murdock Township (1), and Bourbon Township (1).
In unrelated business, it was noted that the wind turbine blades being staged at Arcola are not for the Wind Turbine Complex in Murdock and Newman Townships. Although they are for an EDP project, that project is in Modoc, Indiana, about 70 miles East of Indianapolis.