Bridge inspections begin May 3

By David Fenker

Inspection of Wabash County's 157 bridges began Thursday, May 3, according to County Highway Superintendent John Martin.

Martin informed the commissioners of the inspections at their May 7 meeting.

The physical inspection will take most of May, with additional paperwork and reports being completed in the summer.
Indianapolis-based United Consulting is contracted to handle the inspections.

“They are looking for a variety of things,” Martin said. “They're looking for the overall conditioning of the bridge, and for anything that could cause the bridge to fail.

“They physically have to touch every piece of the bridge.”

All of the county's bridges are on a bi-annual inspection schedule, with 11 requiring a yearly inspection as well.
“We have 11 that are annual inspection because of condition,” Martin said.

He noted that there are four different conditions that, if the bridge scores four or less in that category, requires an annual inspection. Conditions can include issues “as minute as holes in the bridge deck,” Martin said.

Martin also presented paperwork at that meeting to change the county's contract with Primco regarding Bridge 118, carrying 75 East over Burr Creek.

“This change is a decrease from the original amount of the contract of $31,644.70,” Martin said. “That changes the contract from $323,144.28 to $291,479.58.”

After approving that change, the commissioners signed off on a certificate of substantial completion for that bridge, which Martin said is substantially complete.

In other news, Sheriff Bob Land provided the weekly jail update, part of an alley in Laketon was vacated, and the commissioners signed a proclamation recognizing May 7-12 as National Economic Development Week.

Land did not have an official jail report, but said there were 149 total inmates under his care: 104 in Wabash County Jail, 36 in Miami County, five in Elkhart County, three in Blackford County and one in Department of Corrections.

The county's agreement with Miami County, Land said, is up for renewal.

“I received the revision from [County Attorney Steve Downs] last week,” Land said. “I have submitted it over to Miami County. It does state $40 per day. I have not heard anything back from them yet.”

Land also noted that the county will send two deputies to the police academy in June, and that his department recently acquired a 2018 Dodge Ram 1500.

Regarding the Laketon alley, Advisory Plan Commission Director Mike Howard presented the request during a public hearing.

“[The Cooks] live at 40 S. Main St. in Laketon, and they're requesting you vacate the 10-foot-wide alley located between lots 59 and 65,” Howard said, noting that they maintain the unimproved alley, which runs between their properties.

Looking at documentation provided by Howard, Chairman Brian Haupert said that a building already protrudes into the alley.

The commissioners voted 3-0 to approve the request and vacate the section of the alley running between the landowners' two lots, then suspended the rules and approved it again on second reading.

Grow Wabash County CEO Keith Gillenwater presented the National Economic Development Week proclamation.

“This is the third annual version of this event,” Gillenwater said, “which is to try to bring attention to the efforts in communities not only of economic development organizations and economic development professionals, but also with the works of communities to try and promote economic development in their communities.”

Haupert read the end of the proclamation, recognizing May 7-12 as National Economic Development Week and “remind[ing] individuals of the importance of this community celebration which supports the expansion of career opportunities and improving quality of life.”

Posted on 2018 May 15