County to pay more than $75k to move bridge projects forward

Bartholomew County Commissioners grudgingly approved a payment to a new state wetlands fund as part of the process to get bridges replaced.

County Engineer Danny Hollander said that Indiana Department of Natural Resources has been looking into wetlands replacements around the state and is allegedly not happy with some projects in other counties. Because of this dissatisfaction, the state is now requiring counties to pay the state for wetlands replacements, rather than being able to do the work themselves.

For an upcoming project to replace bridges on County Road 400W the state is requiring a payment of more than $75,000 dollars into the wetlands trust fund. The county will be disturbing just over 6 tenths of an acres of wetlands with the bridge work and about 50 feet of stream. Hollander said that the state has already established a “bank” of wetlands replacement in the same watershed and will not actually replace wetlands at the site of new work.

Both of the County Road 400W bridges near Ogilville are in poor condition with one being closed for weeks last year because of load restrictions.

County Commissioners agreed that they were not pleased by the requirement, but they also did not want to delay the bridge work any longer. Commissioners voted 2-1 for the spending, with Commissioner Larry Kleinhenz voting against it.

Commissioners also agreed to pay an emergency claim to repair a crack in the joint on the Indianapolis Road bridge, after it flattened several driver’s tires in November. Hollander said Milestone was tapped to do the work at a cost of about $6 thousand dollars.