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Commissioners approve 2 bridge replacements

The Allen County commissioners plan to spend about $1.2 million to replace two bridges on Carroll Road in northwest Allen County.

County Highway Director Bill Hartman told the commissioners Friday that both the bridges are on a one-mile stretch of Carroll Road, near Taylor and Madden roads, just east of U.S. 33.

Primco, Inc. of Fort Wayne was the low bidder of four contractors, coming in $332,519 below engineering estimates, Hartman said. The construction is a county project and will be paid with local funds, he said.

The bridges include one over Martin Johnson ditch and one over Geller ditch.

The bridge over Martin Johnson ditch will be completely replaced and the Geller ditch bridge will be rehabilitated, said Dan Allen, chief project manager at the highway department. Both bridges will be widened, he said.

Construction is expected to begin soon and completion is set for May 2014, Allen said.

Carroll Road will probably be closed at some point with detours on Madden and Taylor Roads, since crews will be working on both bridges at once, Allen said.

"That's the plan, but we don't yet have a firm schedule," he said. "Building bridges is a long, tedious task. This has been an active project since 2000."

The current bridges are completely safe for motorists, Allen said, adding they are inspected every two years for safety.

Carroll Road is heavily traveled by staff, students and parents of Northwest Allen County Schools, and the county will publicize the dates of construction and outline the detour as soon as possible, Allen said.

"We have already contacted Northwest Allen County Schools and they are on board with this project," he said.

Road maintenance

The commissioners approved a highway department claim for maintaining 1,369 miles of roads, up 14 miles from the year before.

The county certifies its total road mileage each year with the Indiana Department of Transportation to receive state funding for road repairs and maintenance. The county receives about $6,000 a mile, which goes into a fund dedicated for highway use, Hartman said.

More than nine miles of old U.S. 24 accounted for the bulk of the newly acquired roads. The state transferred the old highway to the county when it finished the new U.S. 24, known as the Fort to Port project from Fort Wayne to Toledo.

About five miles of roads came from new subdivisions, while the county lost about one-tenth of a mile to Fort Wayne annexations, Hartman said.