Phelps County Commissioners Tuesday morning approved another payment for the Beaver Creek bridge despite the fact that work has stopped and the consultant’s suggested fix has been turned down.
The commission approved a payment in the amount of $163,734.10 to Brenneke Construction, LLC, the general contractor on the project, to build a new crossing on County Road 5240 over Beaver Creek. County Clerk Carol Bennett said the contractor will receive the payment in January.
An initial payment of $86,918.30 to Brenneke as well as $4,085.75 for engineering services to the project's consultant, Great River Associates, was approved in October.
Brenneke was awarded the bridge project on a base bid of $299,401. The county is using federal Bridge Replacement Off-System (BRO) funds to pay for the work.
District Two Commissioner Bud Dean said Tuesday he received a copy of an email from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to Spencer Jones, of Great River Associates, stating that MoDOT bridge officials do not like Jones’ suggested fix for the bridge that he hoped would address concerns about a “greater slope than anticipated” on the bridge.
Jones had suggested last month that about half of the cap on the center pier be cut down to lower the height in the center of the bridge and reduce the slope.
“MoDOT doesn’t think that the bridge department will approve that remedy and I agree,” Dean said, adding that he worried water would seep into the cap and the lifespan of the bridge would be shorter than what it was initially designed to be.
Dean said one solution is to remove the entire cap on the center pier, clean and bend the rebar and then pour a new cap.
In other business
• The county was awarded a grant for its senior companion program under a new fixed amount grant pilot program, which will start in January and run for three years. The grant approved for the first year — 2013 — totals $117,885. The grants for the other two years will be awarded one at a time each year. In October of this year, the commission unanimously approved the application for the grant pilot program in the amount of $345,800 to the Corporation for National and Community Service. Phelps County’s senior companion program is one of two in Missouri to participate in the pilot program.
• Bennett said one person each has filed for the Phelps County Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees and Phelps County Emergency Services Board (PCESB) as of Tuesday. Incumbent Dr. John Park has filed for the hospital board seat. Only one seat is up for election in April. Randy Barr has filed for one of the four seats open on the PCESB. Filing for both boards will continue until 5 p.m. Jan. 15, 2013. Interested candidates can file at the county clerk’s office.
Page 2 of 2 - • The commission also had a conference call with Judge Mary Sheffield in regards to finding her new office space in the courthouse since she has been appointed to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District. Bill Hickle, the new 25th Judicial Circuit Judge, has expressed interest in Sheffield’s current office space. No decision on office space was made Tuesday.