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County seeks INDOT funds for bridge project

Harrison County engineer Kevin Russel met with Indiana Dept. of Transportation officials Monday afternoon in Seymour to request federal funding for a bridge project in the county.
Harrison County Bridge 58 is a 150-foot, single-span, steel through-truss bridge that carries Valley View Road over Indian Creek. The bridge was originally built in 1899 and was last repaired in 1993. It scored a 45.1, on a 0 to 100 scale, in the August 2006 statewide bridge sufficiency rating report. The rating ranked the bridge 71 out 74 county bridges.
No decision was made Monday, but Russel said he hopes to get an answer late April or early May.
‘It was somewhat like an interview,’ said Russel. ‘It went as well as it could. (The request) was well-received.’
This marked the first time INDOT used this type of request process. Russel said it is a very competitive process and it will be difficult to secure federal funding.
‘It’s kind of a shot in the dark,’ he said, but ‘I feel like we’ve got as good a chance as anybody.’
Russel said 11 counties submitted requests to INDOT for 25 projects that total nearly $25 million. INDOT only has $4 million to allocate for county projects, he said.
The steel truss superstructure of Bridge 58 supports a steel open grating deck and is supported on stone abutments with spread footing foundations. Both the steel open grid deck and stone abutments were reported to be in good condition, but the steel truss was reported to be in overall fair condition exhibiting corrosion and pack rust, according to the available 2006 Structure Inventory and Appraisal Record.
The approach roadways at each end of the bridge have a very poor alignment with respect to the bridge; vehicles are required to come to a near stop before crossing the bridge, Russel said. The approach roadway has guardrails and the bridge has deck railing; however, neither of these safety features currently meet acceptable traffic safety standards.
Russel said the project may have to go into the pool of local projects for the county if no federal funding is granted.
‘We’ll have to sit down and look at our options. It may be something we have to put money away for,’ said Russel.
The bridge has a historical rating of three, which indicates that this bridge is possibly eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
Bridge 58 is one of three ongoing bridge projects in the county; the others are the project in Milltown, over the Blue River, and on Lickford Bridge Road.