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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • County approves bid publication for Valley Road Bridge

  • At the County Commission meeting held Monday, commissioners approved publication to accept bids to relocate the Valley Road Bridge.
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  • At the County Commission meeting held Monday, commissioners approved publication to accept bids to relocate the Valley Road Bridge.
    Last fall and winter when it was first announced that the county planned to demolish the bridge and put in a low water crossing instead, several groups and organizations, as well as individuals, came forward to save the structure.
    According to Wayne Keller, who is the owner of the property the bridge stands on, the bridge has been moved several times, when it was moved to its current location, a pin was discovered to be missing and a workman replaced it with another piece of steel that fit the hole. But, the replacement was actually an axle and had a hole through it. This hole created a weak spot in the bridge.
    Keller said that it would be less costly to replace the pin with the correct part than to demolish the bridge completely.
    "Taking out that bridge would create a dangerous crossing for me, and more importantly, that bridge has historic value," Keller said in an article that appeared in the Globe in December.
    After much discussion, commissioners decided to allow the bridge to continue to stand but must be moved to a new location. This decision was made in April.
    Now, commissioners have voted to accept bids from individuals or organizations in the community to move the bridge to a new location.
    "An individual may bid to relocate the bridge," Ed Elam, county administrator said, "but they can't scrap or demolish it. They must also abide by all the regulations of a historical landmark, as the bridge is one."
    This is the next step in the process to save this nearly 100 year-old bridge.
    In other business the commission:
    • Tabled the burn ban as one is not needed at this time.
    • Approved an agreement with Danielle Crouch, manager of the Expo Center, to purchase 100 horse stalls with funds provided by the Mariah Fund Grant. The stalls will cost $50,592.
    • Approved the appraisal of Rural Fire Station #2 for sale at a future date. Interfaith Housing was using the location, but they have now vacated and commissioners have decided to have the building appraised for sale.
    • Approved a donation of $1,000 to the Kansas Association of Counties for a project they are working on in the Statehouse. The organization is asking each Kansas county to donate $1,000 for a total of $105,000 to create a map of all the Kansas counties in the floor of the Statehouse. Once completed the map will be large enough for visitors to stand in their county. Commissioners will raise the funds through donations.
    The next County Commission meeting will be held July 15 at 6 p.m.

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