Consultant to offer advice on Lowell bridge

Washington County Commissioners have agreed for the county engineer to use the services of Jones-Stuckey LTD, Inc. out of Akron for consultation on the Lowell T Bridge.

County Engineer Roger Wright said the consulting is based on the findings of inspections last year.

“Every five years we’re required to do underwater inspections,” Wright said, at the commission meeting Thursday. “On that same year, we’re not required, but we like to do outside inspections and have an outside consultant come in just to keep that cycle. They do an in-depth inspection (on the bridge).”

The in-depth inspection includes reviewing existing bridge information, including original construction plans and inspection reports, determining pier loads and possible movements, determining the scope of repair and meeting with the county to discuss findings and recommendations.

Wright said two major bridges the county maintains are both the Putnam Bridge and the Lowell T Bridge, and that both bridges require some maintenance work.

“On the T Bridge, there was a little bit of cracking in the concrete on the piers,” Wright said. “(Jones-Stuckey) will look at the cracking and come up with repairs.”

The cost of using Jones-Stuckey services will be about $7,800.

Clerk Rick Peoples said in addition to consulting the company may do some of the work on the bridge.

“That is the price for their services, and their service is consulting,” he said. “I believe they intend to do some work at the Lowell bridge. (Today) was just the signing of the actual agreement; this is routine business.”

Wright said the bridge has major traffic on it and that the desire is to get the crack fixed before it becomes a problem.

“I know it’s a major bridge across the Muskingum for lots of people,” he said. “We try to keep our eye on it…There’s nothing that’s going to cause the bridge to fail, but I would like to get (the crack) repaired before it becomes an issue.”

In other business, bids were opened for bus maintenance for the Board of Developmental Disabilities and bids were considered for a new Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system, which will replace the old system used on the second floor, in a renovated storage room, of the Washington County Courthouse.

Only one bid was received for the bus maintenance. John’s Auto Repair, 300 Muskingum Drive, was awarded the contract.

Labor rates for body work are $90 per hour, labor rates for major repairs are $85 per hour and labor rates for routine/preventative maintenance and general repairs are at a flat rate of $3,000.

Different bids were considered for a new HVAC system which will be on the second floor of the courthouse. Morrison Incorporated came in at $9,689, Tropic Air at $15,500 and CAM Refrigeration at $15,950.

Commissioners opted to move forward with Morrison Incorporated with an HVAC system that has 100,000 BTUs and is more energy efficient.