By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
The bridge is official
Commission adds West 10th bridge to county roster
new deh county commission pic
The Barton County Employee Relations Committee selected Maria Hernandez, deputy treasurer, as its quarterly Employee Recognition Award. Hernandez, center holding the plaque, is shown with BCERC President Wendy Prosser, second from right, and county commissioners, left to right, Homer Kruckenberg, Don Davis, Don Cates, Jennifer Schartz and Kenny Schremmer. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

 In other business Monday morning, the Barton County Commission:
• Accepted Sunflower Diversified Services’ application for a recycling grant. In the 2013 budget, the commission allocated $11,400 for local recycling with an understanding that applications would be accepted locally. In the past, these funds had just been offered to Sunflower. Those eligible to apply included any department, agency, organization, recycling center, city, school district or community college located in Barton County. The only application, for the full amount, was submitted by Sunflower.
• Authorized the Road and Bridge Department to perform asphalt maintenance work for Cheyenne Township. This involves repairing some potholes and some street resealing in Odin. The township will reimburse the county for the expenses.
• Approved a proposal from SCS Aquaterra, the Overland Park-based engineering firm that consults with the county on the landfill, to prepare a new “closure and post-closure” estimate at a cost of $3,000. Landfill Manager Mark Witt said the Kansas Department of Environment’s Bureau of Waste Management required an updated estimate since previous figures were last tied to the national gross domestic product in 1998 and needed to be revised.

 The bridge on West 10th Street spans the City of Great Bend’s flood-control ditch and was built by the city in the late 1980s as part of that massive anti-flooding effort.
However, since then, “it kind of fell through the cracks,” County Engineer Clark Rusco told the Barton County Commission Monday morning. Kansas Department of Transportation mandates that all bridges over 20 feet long be inspected, something that has never happened to this bridge.
Furthermore, the city-built structure is part of a county-maintained road. It has never been formally brought into the county’s family of 380 other bridges.
Now, it is starting to show its age and needs some minor repairs.
This oversight was corrected Monday morning as the Commission officially made the bridge part of the county road system. This means, County Administrator Richard Boeckman said, the county assumes responsibility for its maintenance.
So, in addition to accepting the span, the commission approved a supplemental agreement with the Ellsworth-based engineering Firm Kirkham Michael and Associates to inspect it at a cost of $2,050. The firm already is under contract to inspect the other bridges in the county.
Also, as per KDOT requirements, all bridges be inspected every two years. The county pays about $88 each for the others bridges to be examined, but since 10th Street structure has not been in looked at, it will cost more to build its profile.
After that, Rusco said, the cost will be the same. It will be added to the biennial inspection schedule.
Boeckman said county officials met with city officials who are in agreement with the transfer.
In another bridge-related matter, the Commission learned that KDOT will contract with the county for engineering work to replace the old steel truss bridge east of Great Bend. The state will fund 80 percent of up to $71,175 for the work.
In addition, although it is not yet official, L&M Contractors of Great Bend will get the bid to replace the bridge at a cost of about $400,000. Rusco said this would also be cover 80-20 by KDOT.