Davison County updated its road plan through 2025 on Tuesday, outlining more bridge and road work as the largest share of its annual budget.
It continues the plan that the county has developed more fully in recent years, creating an order of work to make continued progress until September 2019’s wet weather wiped out bridges and roads. That has forced Davison County Highway Superintendent Rusty Weinberg to divert some funds to emergency projects.
Two bridge projects are expected to highlight the 2021 slate of improvements. The replacement of the 411th Avenue bridge over Enemy Creek will cost $1 million, with $150,510 in county funding. The majority of the project is expected to be funded through federal sources — $752,550 — after it was destroyed by the September 2019 flooding.
Weinberg said the length of that bridge will be more than double what was there previously, following a hydrology study conducted earlier this year. The bridge will now span 105 feet, previously it was about 45 feet in length, due to improving the abutment on the bridge. That’s the part of the bridge that connects the bridge deck to the ground at the ends of span, helping with weight support.
“It was actually too small,” he said. “We’re going to 105 feet, which will take the abutment out of the water line and we’ll never have to worry about that abutment with the high flow. We shouldn’t have an issue with that bridge again.”
The other bridge project expected in 2021 will be on 397th Avenue south of Mount Vernon. That project still needs to be bid, but expects to cost $631,000, and the county’s share is expected at $126,200.
Weinberg said there are still 13 bridges that are on the short-term plan for the county, which must have those bridges on the official five-year plan in order to qualify for state Bridge Improvement Grant funding.
“It’s just going to depend on how everything flows with the money and as long as we don’t get any 10-inch rains, we’ll keep checking them off,” he said.
The county again benefited from the BIG program recently, getting approved to do preliminary engineering on four bridge projects, with the state covering half of the engineering costs, which are $31,600 apiece.
“We were looking for one, and we got all four,” he said. “That program has been very good to us.”
A total of $4.67 million of the 2021 provisional budget was allocated to the county’s road and bridge department, which accounted for 35 percent of the overall county budget approved for 2021.
Weinberg has identified about $10 million in annual funding for county projects, ranging from taxes collected by the county, federal funding allocated from the Surface Transportation Program, state programs and local contributions.
The plan also provided a review of the county’s progress in 2020 on road work, with the county completing 16 miles of mat overlay resurfacing (10 miles on 408th Avenue and six miles on 254th Street), 12.5 miles of chip/fog sealing and 18 miles of re-graveling roads.
Other notable projects planned for 2021 include a 2-inch mat overlay resurfacing of 403rd Avenue between 265th and 268th Streets at an expected cost of $360,000, and a 1-inch mat overlay of 403rd Avenue between 254th and 265th Streets at an expected cost of $600,000.