County prepares for bridge, paving projects

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Covington County Commission is exploring the possibility of purchasing a crane and a diesel hammer before it begins replacing bridges that currently have deficiency ratings.

Assistant county engineer Ron Weidler explained to commissioners Tuesday that the state has agreed to let the county rebuild several bridges with its own forces.

“We took a bid for pile driving, and basically, it would cost us $25 per foot,” Weidler said. “So we were looking at $230,000. We can purchase a used crane and a diesel hammer for significantly less money. Right now, we are seeking more information on cranes, so we want to get a bid out and sort through the information.”

Weidler explained that bridges are rated 0 to 100 for safety in an inspection process. Three Covington County bridges rated below 30. These bridges are posted with weight limits, he said.

They include a bridge on Frank Tisdale with a 3 ton limit; a bridge on County Road 47 near Horn Hill with an 11 ton limit; and a bridge on Point A Road with a 15-ton limit.

He said the greater danger is flooding, which can cause erosion and weaken the pile structure.

Those projects will follow resurfacing projects on County Road 70 and County Road 57, both of which were approved Tuesday.

County Road 70 will be resurfaced from Hwy. 84 south of River Falls to Hwy. 29, Weidler said. Resurfacing plans on County Road 57 will cover a distance of 1.88 miles, beginning at Hwy. 84.

In other business, the commission:

  • Renewed its animal shelter agreement with the City of Andalusia. The cost increased by $5,000.
  • Appointed Commission Chairman Greg White to the Southeast Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission and to the Children’s Policy Council.
  • Acknowledged petitions it has received to close Van Walker Loop Road in Andalusia and Wild Road in Wing. Public hearings on the issue will be held in February.