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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Bridge failure leads to weight limit reduction

  • Phelps County may obligate some of its Bridge Replacement Off-System (BRO) funds after a bridge failure occurred Friday, July 12, on a crossing west of Rolla.
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  • Phelps County may obligate some of its Bridge Replacement Off-System (BRO) funds after a bridge failure occurred Friday, July 12, on a crossing west of Rolla.
    During the county commission meeting Tuesday morning, commissioners and County Road Superintendent Walter Snelson discussed their options for the bridge over Beaver Creek on County Road 7050, just off County Road 7000, south of Martin Springs Drive.
    Presiding Commissioner Randy Verkamp said that commissioners at their Thursday meeting may request the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to obligate the county's BRO funds to replace the crossing.
    Snelson said Dennis Brady, of MoDOT, inspected the 58-foot-long bridge Monday and recommended the weight limit on the bridge be reduced to 3 tons. Signs notifying motorists of the new weight limit have been placed.
    "All the cells were cracked on the (bridge) deck," Snelson said.
    District Two Commissioner Gary Hicks said that County Road 7050 serves about 17 residences. Trucks have also hauled gravel from the road, it was noted.
    A 3-ton limit on the bridge would not allow fire engines or school buses to cross it, commissioners said.
    Snelson recommended constructing a new crossing south of the existing crossing, where the creek is more narrow, but he added that a new bridge would still have to be longer than the existing structure. He estimated a new crossing would likely be 80 feet long.
    Snelson said the last time major rehabilitation work took place on the bridge was in 1997.
    In other business
    •Also at Tuesday's meeting, the commission renewed a public health emergency preparedness contract for the county health department in the amount of $49,277.
    • The Phelps County Board of Equalization will meet at 9:30 a.m. today. As of Tuesday, there was only one scheduled appeal hearing, with a possibility of another.
    • The commission also received a memo from MoDOT to proceed with a BEAP (Bridge Engineering Assistance Program) study on the County Road 3620 bridge over a branch of the Dry Fork Creek, just east of Private Drive 3625, east of St. James. Verkamp said Mark Huck, of Burns & McDonnell, is scheduled to attend Thursday's commission meeting and may tour the bridge with commissioners.

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