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Hickory Bridge may see summer completion

Danielle Ryan

(1/30) The Hickory Bridge Road Bridge has been in need of repair for years, and may now finally see its rehab this summer.

The bridge, which lies on both Franklin and Hamiltonban townships, initially received attention in 2013, when both townships entered into an agreement to split the costs of having an engineering study completed. The initial cost of repairs ranged from $26,600 - $36,934, but all proposals were turned down. Three years later another study was done and the estimated cost ranged from $93,000 - $116,000. The project was bid out at that time, but only one bid was received, and it was well over the estimated cost, coming in at $149,000.

Both townships rejected the single bid, regrouped and came up with three viable options. They could do the project in-house, and bid for materials, they could re-bid the project again in the fall in hopes of receiving more bidders at a potentially lower cost, or they could build a different style bridge. At the time, both townships discussed that completing the project in-house would be doable and could be cost effective. However, Brandon Guiher, the Project Engineer, recommended the project be bid out again in the fall to see what kind of response it may receive.

After bidding the project out again this past fall, both townships received more responses, but all still came in over the original estimated cost. The lowest bid received was $137,706, and in December, Hamiltonban Township voted to accept the bid, pending Franklin Township’s approval. After their December meeting, Franklin Township chose to table voting on the bids and asked for more discussion with Hamiltonban Township.

Franklin Township Supervisors proposed constructing a box culvert at an approximate cost of $95,785. This project would not be done in-house, but would be outsourced to another company. Hamiltonban Township Supervisors agreed that they would not wish to see the project done in-house due to staff shortages and liability concerns. The finished bridge would be a two-lane bridge that would span about twenty-four feet in width and would need to have new guardrails installed. The new bridge would be completed faster than the originally proposed bridge plan, ideally only taking about five weeks to complete. Both boards agreed that the ideal timeline for completion of this project would be this summer, after school is out of session.

Hamiltonban Township Solicitor Matthew Battersby recommended Franklin Township draw up an inter-municipal agreement to be brought back to Hamiltonban in the near future. A formal scope of services and engineer fees were also requested. The approval of the $137,706 bid by CriLon Corp. was rescinded by Hamiltonban Township, and Franklin Township formally rejected the bid.

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