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Creek trail could get second bridge

Early discussions are underway about the possibility of a second rehabilitated bridge on the Indian Creek Trail in Corydon, Harrison County Engineer Kevin Russel told the county commissioners March 4 at their morning meeting.
Russel said he had contacted Indian Creek Trail committee president Randy West to see if the committee was interested in the possibility of moving the old Valley View Road bridge to a place on the trail.
‘The answer is yes,’ said West, who attended the March 4 meeting.
West said any trail group anywhere would have a hard time turning down a bridge that would be handed to them, and they would have to seek grant funds to complete the project.
The Indian Creek Trail Hayswood Nature Reserve portion has an old, rehabilitated bridge from Rothrock Mill Road placed over Indian Creek. President Barack Obama’s ‘stimulus’ plan funded a part of the project.
The long-term plan for the trail includes connecting it to the north trail that winds between the YMCA of Harrison County and downtown Corydon. It would possibly have to cross Indian Creek again at some point, a place for the Valley View Road bridge.
Spear-headed by former commissioner Carl (Buck) Mathes, the Valley View bridge was kept in place as a walking bridge after a new bridge was completed in November. The bridge, more than 100 years old, is protected by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.
Russel said he’s not sure if the state historical groups will even allow the bridge to be moved. Regardless, Harrison County will be responsible for the maintenance of the structure.
West said the trail committee would discuss the issue at its next meeting, which was scheduled for March 12.
Commissioner George Ethridge said he understood the benefits of moving the bridge to the trail where it would be used, since it is not really being used now.
Councilman Phil Smith said he thought the Harrison County Parks Dept. should be involved.
‘I think they will be,’ Commissioner Kenny Saulman said.
West agreed, and said the trail committee works in conjunction with the parks department.
In related business, United Consulting completed the county’s bridge inspections and reported Bridge 15, located on Big Indian Road over Brush Heap Creek, will need to be replaced soon.
‘It has really gone south,’ Chris Wheeler, project engineer with United Consulting, said.
The study indicated, overall, Harrison County’s 77 bridge structures are in really good shape.
If interested in the condition of a nearby or highly-frequented bridge, residents can view each individual bridge’s inspection in the report at the Harrison County Auditor’s office.
Each bridge in the county has to be inspected every two years, according to federal law.
In other business, the board learned that the Corydon-New Middletown Road phase two project will begin its construction phase by April 1, at which point the road will be closed.
The board asked that a $10,000 additional passed to the county council for litigation for the plan commission be denied by the council because all work will be conducted through the county’s legal counsel, Chris Byrd. The additional had been tabled since January.
The board hired Danny Spencer as maintenance supervisor, effective immediately, and also Anthony Puckett to succeed Spencer as a maintenance technician. The board also decreased the supervisor salary from $52,000 to $45,000 while increasing the technician position to $31,000, from $28,000. The county council will have to approve the salary changes. All custodians will again report to the maintenance supervisor.
Spencer succeeds David Simon, who was put on a two-week leave of absence without pay by the previous board of commissioners and never returned to the position.
Spencer will have to find a replacement for custodian Evelyn Heilig, who worked her last day Friday; she retired after 14-1/2 years. A reception was held earlier in the month for Heilig at the Justice Center.
The board established a new procedure for small, no-bid contracts with the highway department. Ethridge said any interested company should contact Glen Bube, highway department supervisor, to be placed on a rotation list for projects such as tree removal and other small jobs. Each company would have to sign an agreement before work begins agreeing on pay, timeline and what’s expected of them. The commissioners came up with the plan so these type of jobs don’t end up going to the same companies each time.
The board of commissioners’ next meeting will be Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon.

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