Barton County was able to make important improvements to a vital north-south rural road with the help of state transportation funding, and now it will attempt to do so again.
The Barton County Commission agreed Monday to apply again for the Kansas Department of Transportation High Risk Rural Road grant, seeing almost $800,000 in funding.
County Engineer Clark Rusco noted that the county was able to make major improvements to the Boyd Road as part of the first HRRR grant process. The county received grant money to improve the railroad crossing at Boyd and to straighten out the curves in that blacktop road.
Now it will seek improvements to a number of culverts on county roads, to make the roads less dangerous. Rusco explained that the older culverts include railings that create barriers to farm equipment and that act as dangers, if a passenger car comes into contact with them. It would be less dangerous to improve the design and construction of the culverts and allow vehicles to go off the road, rather than come into contact with the railings.
Included in the current project would be improvements on the Odin Road; on the east-west blacktop that runs from Galatia to Beaver; and to SW 110 Avenue.
The projected cost would be $794,000 with the county’s cost, in the 90/10 share, at $79,400.
However, the county would be reimbursed about $69,000 for engineering inspection, which would reduce the county out-of-pocket.
Rusco noted that the state could choose not to fund all of the projects.
There is about $5 million in this grant fund, he added.
The work be let to bids in 2013.
Also proposed for 2013 bidding would be another KDOT grant project the county will apply for, which would fund an off-system bridge replacement.
A steel truss bridge, located .3 of a mile south and 1.5 miles east of Great Bend, would be the object of this grant.
The bridge, which dates to the early 1940s, would be replaced with a concrete slab project in an 80/20 share.
The estimated cost would be $576,630 and the county share would be $115,326. However, Rusco noted, the county would do the engineering on this project as well, and would be reimbursed $102,000, which would decrease its costs.
The county will apply for both of the bids, the commissioners agreed.