Program released

The Auglaize County engineer scheduled 21 structures for replacement or rehabilitation as part of Auglaize County’s bridge replacement program in 2012.

The total price tag for the projects is $549,200, with $200,000 representing material costs.

“It’s all very labor intensive,” Auglaize County Engineer Doug Reinhart said. “By the fact that income from license plate fees and gasoline taxes for 2012 are projected below the income seen in 2006, much of the program will be comprised of bridge rehabilitation.

“Based on the income we are receiving, we have a lot of bridges built in the 1960s and a lot having birthdays,” he said. “There are going to be some expensive projects coming up.”

On this year’s list, nine of the bridges are on County Road 33A in preparation for a federal repaving project expected in 2013. Two projects are on St. Marys-Kossuth Road. Of other scheduled bridge reconstruction and rehabilitation projects, three are in Washington Township, two each in Union and Jackson townships, with other projects in Salem, Noble and Wayne townships.

“Four hundred cubic yards of concrete were poured over the winter and most material costs were already expended getting ready,” Reinhart said.

For this year, three-sided premanufactured concrete boxes made by county crews during the winter are to be used for complete bridge reconstruction on Allen Union Wayne Road a half mile east of Ohio 196, Koenig Road one mile north of U.S. 33, and St. Marys Kossuth over Six-Mile Creek.

Costs of those projects are $34,278, $39,021 and $54,707 respectively.

County-manufactured concrete bridge beams are to be used to replace existing bridge decks on Barber Werner Road over the Miami and Erie Canal for $40,483 and on St. Marys Kossuth Road over Six-Mile Creek for $80,311.

Planned work on the bridge over Six-Mile Creek is expected to remove the load limit restriction (10 tons) for the structure. Plans call to raise the road using 500 tons of milled asphalt and install another box 10 feet away to funnel water through to prevent flooding, which is common in the area.

Reinhart said the bridge is currently the only county bridge posted with load restrictions.

“We should get back to the point of having no posted bridges,” Reinhart said.

Large diameter reinforced concrete pipe is being used on Fairmont Road one-third mile east of Graham for $40,345 and on County Road 33A over Schultz Ditch for $17,786.

The bridge over Schultz Ditch was finished last week, Reinhart said Thursday.

Bridge deck rehabilitations are planned for Townline Lima Road shortly north of Blank Pike for $32,871, Amsterdam Road east of Tri-Township for $28,523, North Corporation Road west of East Shelby Road for $7,101, Bay Road south of Weifenbach Road for $10,095, Moulton Angle Road west of Moulton Knoxville for $9,965, and Holtkamp Road east of East Shelby for $6,622.

Eight concrete box culverts built in the late 1930s also are to be repaired and extended to provide for wider safety shoulders. The cost to repair those culverts is estimated at $147,092.

“County Road 33A is scheduled for resurfacing in 2013 using federal funds to pay for 80 percent of that work,” Reinhart said.

While it is possible that funding for County Road 33A could not be available next year based on the outcome of the federal highway bill, Reinhart said they wanted to be prepared.

The structures being repaired on County Road 33A were installed in the late 1930s. County crews are repairing their ends and extending them to provide for wider safety shoulders in anticipation of the federal project next year.

As part of the rehabilitations, existing asphalt deck is to be removed, deteriorating concrete repaired and a waterproofing membrane and new mat of asphalt laid.

Reinhart said the work should extend the life of those structures by at least 25 years.

Bridges are not listed for repair or replacement in any particular order as the clearing of utilities and procurement of easements are to dictate that schedule.

“It’s going to be a busy year,” Reinhart said.

With an early start already to spring work, Reinhart said to date they have replaced at least 20 culverts, work that doesn’t typically begin until April. County crews also have already been able to seed projects done in the fall.

Paving projects are expected to be set in another month. Despite Reinhart droving county roads in the fall and established a wish list, he wanted to make sure winter months wouldn’t have led to the need to make changes to that list.

“At $58,000 a mile, I don’t want a surprise,” Reinhart said of estimated paving costs.

He said because of the mild winter they also would be able to move money from maintenance to capital improvements — the reverse of what happened after a busy winter last year.

While Reinhart doesn’t yet know how much money he will be able to transfer into the capital improvement fund. He said not only did the county save in salt costs this year but in fuel costs as well.

“Because we were required to buy 80 percent (of the amount of salt requested in the bid) we won’t get the full impact of the salt this year,” Reinhart said, noting that on the plus side, they have 800 tons of salt in storage now for next winter.

“We used less than 30 percent of our bid,” said Reinhart, who anticipated more savings in September when salt bids are let for next winter.

Unfortunately he said because salt mines were shut down because of the mild winter this year, the price per ton won’t be as low as he had hoped.

The state filed an antitrust lawsuit earlier this month against two major rock salt producers — Cargill and Morton Salt — alleging they conspired to drive up salt prices paid by Ohio and its local governments, which Reinhart said the county could possibly see money from as well depending on the outcome.