Friday, November 16, 2012
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Drainage tiles proposed for Fifth Street at New Holland; county preparing for high-speed rail; Mount Pulaski bridges to get repairs

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[November 16, 2012]  When the road and bridge committee of the Logan County Board met on Nov. 5, county engineer Bret Aukamp had much to discuss.

An issue with the development of Fifth Street Road has arisen. On the far west end of the road, in New Holland, there is a set of drain tile that needs to be replaced. Various landowners on that end have asked the county highway department if those plans could be moved up in the schedule in order to install the drain tiles now. If the highway department does this, the drainage tiles could be used for draining fields this year.

Aukamp said there is no real disadvantage to waiting until next year to install the drain tiles. The cost for the project would remain the same, at an estimate of about $8,000.

The committee took a vote on the issue, and it was decided that Aukamp will proceed with a call for bids on the installation of the drainage tiles before this year ends rather than wait until next year.

Aukamp also reported that the highway department will soon be reviewing railroad crossings in the townships of Logan County to determine which ones will need to be improved in anticipation of the high-speed rail. A deal has been worked out with the Illinois Department of Transportation for the county department to receive reimbursement for their time spent on the process. The process will begin in 2013. The full county board will take a vote on approving the process when they next meet.

Aukamp also reported that East Lincoln and Sheridan townships have turned to outside contractors for seal coating on their roads. With the rising price of oil, the county highway department, while still less expensive than independent contractors, is having a difficult time remaining cheaper for seal coating. In previous years, the highway department offered significantly lower prices.

Aukamp said he understands why the townships would look to contractors for better pricing, because everyone is looking to save money in some form.

"I don't want to lose any customers, but at the same time, they're trying to cover their roads," said Aukamp.

A resolution will be sent to the full county board concerning two repair jobs in Mount Pulaski. Originally the project began as a bridge replacement plan, but it was determined that it would be cheaper to simply repair the bridge in question. The department realized there was a bridge in similar condition nearby, and so a second bridge repair could be easily accomplished at the same time. The bridges in question are on 300th Street and 1400th Avenue. The bid letting was on Nov. 6 at 10 a.m.

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Also, the roadway that leads to the new Aldi store in Lincoln has been satisfactorily completed and is in use.

Aukamp reported that there was a bit of an issue with timing on the finishing of paperwork for the roadway.

"The roadway was accepted on Oct. 29 at around 8:30 a.m. The store's grand opening began at 9 a.m. Fortunately, the concrete strength tests came back satisfactory. I did not get those results until about 20 after 8," said Aukamp, who was glad everything worked out well.

Aukamp also recommended that the county begin the process of transferring control of the roadway to the city of Lincoln, which was the intention since the project began.

Thomas Hammel and Richard Boblitt, both former IDOT employees, could be hired as new bridge inspectors for Logan County. Aukamp contacted other counties the two have worked with in the past, and they have a great reputation for hard work in the area. The full county board will have to vote to finalize their hiring.

All committeemen were present: Gene Rohlfs, Rick Aylesworth, Terry Carlton, Chuck Ruben and Kevin Bateman; as well as county board chairman Bob Farmer.

Curt Fox and Sam Evans were present as guests.


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