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Repair or replace damaged bridge

By Staff | Aug 2, 2015

There is a procedure to be followed when repairing or replacing a bridge. But, what happens when the bridge is found on the list of historic bridges?

This is the issue currently at hand for Faribault County as they look into making repairs on a bridge located on 385th Avenue.

“There was damage to the railing of this bridge,”?county engineer Mark Daly explained.

The township board was interested in replacing the bridge altogether, however, one small detail is standing in the way.

“The bridge was built in 1921 and was one of the first bridges designed with concrete beams,”?Daly said.

Daly explained that a deficiency test was performed on the bridge and the lowest score was in the deck.

“But, the real issue is that the deck is narrower than the road,”?he said. “It becomes a geometry issue.”

So, the County Board voted to hire a structural engineer to evaluate the bridge and begin the process of either upgrading or replacing the structure.

“Both the county and the township would rather replace the bridge than widen the bridge,” Daly added.

However, since it is listed as a historic bridge, the cost for the engineer was around $38,000.

“It is $6,000-$10,000 higher than normal just because it is a historical bridge,” he said. “Also, because it is a historic bridge, the process is more involved and construction may not begin until 2017.”

The engineering firm, Stonebrook Engineering, came highly recommended, especially for jobs such as the bridge on 385th Avenue.

“The engineer that we hired has designed many bridges in the county and has experience working with historical bridges, so they are our best option to pursue the replacement of the bridge,” Daly said.

The county had proceeded to obtain quotes to repair the railing based on recommendations set forth by the historical requirements.

“We have advised the township to proceed with repairing the bridge per those requirements,”?Daly added.