Council to consider replacing eight county bridges

May 03, 1992|By Carol L. Bowers | Carol L. Bowers,Staff writer

You could call it the year of the bridge.

Beginning July 1, Harford County's Department of Public Works wants to spend a year replacing eight of the county's approximately 200 bridges at a cost of about $1.8 million.

Eight more bridges are scheduled to be replaced the following year.

"People shouldn't be alarmed. Our bridges are not going to fall down. You don't see us closing bridges like we were two years ago," said William T. Baker Jr., DPW director.

But, he said, there is a point in the life of every bridge when a combination of items, such as abutments, decks or steel beams, can no longer be repaired and must be replaced.

"There are a variety of things that mandate replacement," said Baker.

"Usually, if there's just one item, we try to repair it, but if there's a combination of problems and we cannot maintain it anymore, then we have to look at replacement."

DPW is seeking County Council approval to borrow $1.8 million on the bond market to pay construction costs for replacing eight county-owned bridges after the new fiscal year starts July 1.

DPW also has plans to spend about $360,000 to cover design costs for eight more bridges, scheduled to be constructed the following fiscal year.

Replacement costs vary from the most expensive project, $420,000 for the Oakington bridge over Gashey's Creek near Havre de Grace, to $60,000 for the Coen Road bridge over a branch of Deer Creek.

Baker also has included $300,000 for "bridge rehabilitation" in his fiscal 1993 budget request, which he presented to the council Thursday.

Baker said he'd like to spend $40,000 on bridge inspections in fiscal 1993, which begins July 1.

Baker said he isn't sure why so many bridges needed to be replaced at once.

"I can't answer for the actions of past administrations," said Baker. "I'm trying to create a balanced transportation network.

"We can patch potholes and repave a road to keep it passable, but if you lose the bridge, then you've lost the road."

Bridges on the way

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Money borrowed on the bond market to replace bridges:

Grier Nursery Bridge .. .. .. $175,000

Watervale Road Bridge .. .. ..$130,000

Coen Road Bridge .. .. .. .. ..$60,000

Mount Horeb Bridge .. .. .. ..$380,000

Green Road Bridge .. .. .. ...$185,000

Mill Green Bridge .. .. .. .. $200,000

Jerusalem Road Bridge .. .. ..$250,000

Oakington Bridge .. .. .. .. .$420,000

TOTAL .. .. .. .. .. .. ..$1.8 million

Cash allotted for design/engineering for bridges, fiscal 1994

Forge Hill Bridge .. .. .. .. .$40,000

Mount Horeb Bridge .. .. .. ...$20,000

Wheel Road Bridge .. .. .. .. $100,000

Whitaker Mill Bridge .. .. .. .$20,000

Poteet Bridge .. .. .. .. .. ..$30,000

Morse Road Bridge .. .. .. .. .$90,000

Furnace Bridge .. .. .. .. .. .$30,000

Durham Bridge .. .. .. .. . .. $30,000

TOTAL .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. $360,000

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