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Emergency supports added to Radium Bridge
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Work is moving ahead on bridge improvements for Barton County and its coming just in time.
County Engineer Clark Rusco told the Barton County Commission Monday that as he is working with bids for the improvement to two crucial county bridges, the Road and Bridge Department has just finished emergency repairs to one of the structures.
Rusco explained that last Thursday, the Road and Bridge department responded to the Radium Bridge because the annual inspection show that there had been a pin failure.
The railroad was nice enough to loan us some ties until we get it fixed,” Rusco said, adding the Road and Bridge crew built a base and then used the ties to shore up the bridge so it can’t shift where the pin has failed.
“It’s completely supported now with railroad ties, so it’s good to go,” the county engineer commented.
Stan Behrends, Road and Bridge Department, said the crew responded as soon as it received the warning about the bad pin. “We started right after dinner and we finished about 6 o’clock” Thursday evening.
Rusco will be working on the bids for the bridge project this week and it is expected to be on the next commission agenda.
As was reported earlier, the project involves the “retrofit of the pin and hanger assemblies for the Radium Road and Ellinwood bridges over the Arkansas River. 
“The Radium Road bridge, located near Dundee, is a four girder bridge with two expansion joints. The Ellinwood bridge, is a five girder bridge with two expansion joints,” according to information reported earlier by Rusco.
The project will involve getting rid of the pin and hangar equipment that caused both of these bridges to be closed a year ago.
They were in danger of collapsing due to broken pins, Rusco reported then.
Rusco reported at the time that the Radium Road bridge, was built in 1971, and the Ellinwood bridge in 1981. They are the only two bridges in Barton County constructed of concrete and steel beams, with the supporting beams designed to “float” so the bridges can expand and contract, according to the temperature changes. These are only two of about 40 such bridges in the whole state, Rusco added.