Wabash County'd 157 bridges win good order: inspector

By Amanda Bridgman

Wabash County Commissioners were given a report from on the county's annual bridge inspection.

Scott Minnich with United Consulting said Wabash County has 157 bridges, and bridges are required to be inspected on a 24-month cycle, with some on a 12-month cycle because they are nearing the end of their life. Any structure more than 20 feet in length is considered a bridge by the state and must be inspected, he said.

“Unfortunately bridges don't last forever,” said Minnich, adding that the average lifespan of a bridge is 75 years, so with 157 bridges with a 75 year lifespan, Wabash County can expect to replace about two bridges per year to stay in compliance with state and federal requirements.

The top five bridges on his replacement list are: Bridge No. 151 at County Road 1200 South over Cart Creek; Bridge No. 155 at Meridian Road over Clear Creek; Bridge No. 104 at County Road 500 West over Mill Creek; Bridge No. 110 at County Road 500 South over Treaty Creek; and Bridge No. 909 at American Road over Treaty Creek.

The top five bridges on the rehabilitation list include: Bridge No. 701 at Walnut Street over Grand Creek; Bridge No. 503 at Waterworks Road over Treaty Creek; Bridge No. 18 at North Chippewa Street over the Eel River; Bridge No. 177 at County Road 750 West over Unger Ditch; and Bridge No. 908 at County Road 400 North over Lagro Creek.

County Highway Superintendent John Martin received permission to begin work on Bridge No. 701 at Monday's Dec. 3, meeting for a total cost of $287,792.33.

The board also Monday adopted a resolution to allow David Bright and Greg Wood shall each remain in office until a successor is elected and qualified. At the Nov. 6 election, April DeVore was elected to the Waltz Township Advisory Board to replace Bright, who chose not to seek reelection. Following her victory, DeVore announced she will not assume that office, and Bright is willing to rem-ain in office. Also at the Nov. 6 election, Diana Heath was elected to the Liberty Township Advisory Board to replace Greg Wood, who chose not to seek re-election. Heath, who recently became LaFontaine clerk-treasurer, announced that she will not assume the township office, and Wood is willing to remain in office. The resolution passed unanimously.

Sheriff Bob Land said he has 99 inmates in Wabash County Jail, 40 in Miami County, 10 in Elkhart County and one in Department of Corrections, for a total of 150. He said the average last week was 101, with 21 new bookings, 16 transports, and a peak population of 107. Land said he is pending to send two to DOC this week, and he is currently housing 29 Level 6 felonies and three Level B felonies. The sheriff also told commissioners that 75 of the 150 inmates in holding are still waiting on some type of court appearance.

Land said he will wait until court is finished for the day Monday, Dec. 3, and also finished Thursday, Dec. 6, to see where the population stands in regard to overcapacity. Last week's average between all three facilities was 140.

Land also presented two bills to be paid, one for $1,270.54 for the motor that needed to be replaced in the fresh-air intake for the kitchen, and one for $187.52 to repair the air handler in the basement. Those were approved 3-0.

Land said three merit deputies who started Nov. 19 are going through training currently, and four new jailers – three are replacements and one is a new hire – also have begun training.

Commissioners signed an ordinance regarding sick leave benefits in the employee handbook. The amended language now reads: “Eligible employees may use sick leave benefits for an absence due to their own illness or injury or for an illness or injury in their immediate family. Immediate family means spouse, child or parent.”

The next Wabash County Board of Commissioners meets at 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 10, in the Wabash County Courthouse.

Posted on 2018 Dec 04