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County kept busy building in 2010
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It’s been a busy year for county projects and County Administrator Richard Boeckman passed on department updates this week.
County Engineer Clark Rusco reported that a number of planned — and a couple of crucial unplanned — construction projects were completed this year.
2010 projects included:
• Barton County received three Kansas Department of Transportation High Risk Rural Roads grants.    The approximate construction cost for the three projects was $1,400,000 with a KDOT-to-county cost share of 90/10 percent. 
The Engineer’s Department provided construction engineering for these projects.   
The grants improved the two curves on Boyd Road and the railroad crossing at Boyd, Rusco explained.  Construction was completed this year.
And that wasn’t the only work on this heavily traveled county north-south road either, Rusco reported.
The Boyd Road bridge replacement project over the Walnut Creek was completed this year. And his department provided the construction engineering for this project.  The cost share between the state and the county was 80/20, he added.
Barton County received federal assistance for a local construction project this year, Rusco reported.
• American Resource and Recovery Act grant funds were used to fund an over lay of 10th Street extended from the Great Bend city limits, west to NW 50 Avenue. 
The project was completed before the 3i show at the EXPO Area. The project cost was approximately $700,000 with a cost share of 80/20, and Rusco’s department also provided the construction engineering for this project.  
Other major county projects for 2010 included:
• College Road over lay from US 281 to NE 30 Avenue.  The project cost was approximately $540,000 and funding for this project was 100% by Barton County. 
• Several bridges and low water crossings were replaced using special bridge funds. Funding for these bridges was 100 percent by Barton County. 
The Road and Bridge Department removed the existing structures and then back filled around the new structures after they were completed. 
The department did all the work for low water crossing repairs. The Engineering Department provided the construction engineering services for these projects. 
And the department also got involved in a couple of projects that were certainly not expected, Rusco recalled.
“The failure of several pins in the pin and hanger assemblies of the Arkansas River bridges at Ellinwood and Radium Road caused traffic to be rerouted until repairs could be made. 
“The bridges were examined with ultrasound equipment and all of the failed pins were replaced. 
“Several of the pins examined showed signs of deterioration and will need to be replaced. The existing pin and hanger assemblies will need to be removed and a different type of expansion joint assembly will need to be installed.”
He added the system will continue to be scrutinized. “Annual pin and hanger inspections are required until the new expansion joint assemblies are in place.”