On the Beat in Bluffton

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

N-B Numbers: White Bridge repairs in the hundreds of thousands

Although the White Bridge isn't at risk of falling down, says Toby Steffen of Butler, Fairman and Seufert, it is in need of work. While some minimum repairs must be done for proper bridge rehabilitation, Steffen considers others "luxury" options.

Here's a brief breakdown:
Option A: $334,000
Option B: $456,000

The difference is how extensive the work will be.

These figures were outlined in a letter to the commissioners, who have told BF&S they wish to keep the bridge – located near the Rivergreenway and Ouabache State Park – open to pedestrian traffic.

"There is not enough room on the bridge to keep two lanes open and accommodate the trail," Kyle Muellner of BF&S wrote in the letter.

Keeping one lane of traffic and one lane of trail open during construction would add $75,000 to the project for signals and traffic barriers.

Keeping two lanes of traffic open and one lane of trail open in four phases of work would add a month to construction time and about 20 percent to "affected pay items." Since more traffic barriers would be required, an additional $60,000 would also be added.

A third potential cost increase includes a 200-foot long rental pedestrian bridge for about $175,000.

"Additionally," the letter states, "further cost savings could be realized if the bridge were closed for two to three months instead of phasing. A detour would re-route traffic approximately four miles, west along River Road into town, across the river on Ind. 1, then east on Ind. 124 and/or Elm Grove Road."

The letter came after a day-long study was conducted Oct. 21 on the bridge.

For more information, pick up the Tuesday, Nov. 5, News-Banner.

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