Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 19, 2017

County still hoping to reopen Oakland Mills Bridge Friday or Saturday

Aug 09, 2017
Photo by: Brooks Taylor

By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News

 

It’s a busy time for the Henry County Engineer’s Office as major construction projects continue.

“This is a busy week and last week was busy,” Henry County Engineer Jake Hotchkiss told county supervisors Tuesday morning.

He hopes that work will be finished on the Oakland Mills Bridge by Friday night or Saturday. Dormark Construction Co., general contractor for the project, plans to pour the bridge approaches either today (Wed.) or Thursday. If that happens, there will be enough work completed to open the bridge to traffic although some loose ends will remain but not interfere with traffic flow.

“I really hope the approaches are poured Wednesday,” he said. “Our goal is to get the bridge open as soon as possible. If there are some problems, we may not get it open until Monday. Although it is an inconvenience now, it will add life to the bridge.”

Hotchkiss said there were some issues, now resolved, with the abutments that were unforeseen. “They’ve been working a lot of extra hours and on Saturdays.” he commented.

In another five to 10 years, the deck will have to be replaced on the Oakland Mills Bridge, Hotchkiss noted.

The county’s other major project — reconstruction of Winfield Avenue from Grand Avenue to the U.S. 218 overpass — is moving along. “They are working at a couple places simultaneously which helps keep things moving on the project. There is a lot going on in the project, and they are moving as fast as they can,” Hotchkiss said.

Plans are for the contractor to pour another section of Winfield Avenue either later this week or early next week. He said that the street between Iris Street to Detrick’s Truck and Trailer Service is paved.

The contractor is working on placing modified sub-base from Grand Avenue to Detrick’s. Meanwhile, Winfield Avenue will be closed east of Iris Street beginning Thursday morning. The intersection of Iris and Grand will remain open for the businesses located west of Iris. A detour will be set up for Winfield Avenue from 220th Street, south to Marsh Avenue to U.S. Highway 34.

Nearby businesses — Detrick’s, Liquid-Grow, mini-storage, Sandeen’s Pioneer Seeds and East End Automotive — will be able to be accessed from Iris Street. Access to the Pilot Travel Center will only be from Grand Avenue.

Another project continuing is the shoulder pull on Marsh Avenue from Highway 34 south to the intersection of Logan Avenue. Hotchkiss said the county crew is working on the last mile of the project.

Preliminary work on Merrimac Road, directly west of Trenton, has been completed and the contractor will come back in three to four weeks to resurface the 700-foot section that was rebuilt. Originally, sealcoat was going to be reapplied, but Hotchkiss said the surface has been changed to asphalt.

Road maintenance work last week included mowing shoulders of roads; spraying weeds; continuing concrete patching on Salem Road; working on a ditching project on James Avenue; applying dust control and working on signs.

Supervisors also canvassed the Aug. 1 bond referendum to finance the construction of a $9.1 million county law enforcement center and jail. County Auditor Shelly Barber said that six more votes — three for and three against — had been received and postmarked in time to be counted. That brings the total affirmative vote to 2,595 and 468 “no” votes were received, or 85 percent of those voting favoring the project.

Supervisors meet again in regular session Thursday, Aug. 10, at 9 a.m. in the Henry County Courthouse.

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