County seeking alternative methods for bridge replacement
Plans for a bridge replacement in the county have hit a snag.
At the regular Montgomery County Board of Supervisors meeting May 9, county engineer Karen Albert said they were looking at alternatives for a bridge replacement project on L Avenue, near the intersection at L Avenue and 250th St.
“Originally, we had planned to replace the bridge with pipe structures, but due to the new laws regarding Waters of the U.S., it is not economically feasible, so we’re looking at an alternative structure to replace that bridge,” explained Albert
Supervisor Donna Robinson said she had heard the new law was under discussion but wasn’t sure it had been put in place. after contacting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albert confirmed that it was
“We submitted the Corps a preliminary plan to see if there were any issues with the proposed pipe structure. The Corps contacted us and said based on the plans, it would have cost us around $800,000 in fees due to the amount of stream we were losing,” Albert said. After that initial contact, we heard there was a hold on the law being put into place, so we contacted the Corps to see if we could proceed, but we were told by the Corps that the law had been put into place and we could not do what we had originally planned.”
Supervisor’s Chair Mike Olson said the law was enacted by executive order and turned over to the Army Corps of Engineers. He questioned how long it would remain in place.
“I would assume after this gets taken back to the Supreme Court, it will likely be nullified. Basically the law enforces liquidated damages over 117 feet of stream bed. If you disturb more than 117 feet of stream bed, you start paying a fairly healthy fee of liquidated damages to the U.S. government,” advised Olson.
Albert confirmed that in the preliminary plan, if the bridge is replaced with culvert pipe, the stream bed would be used up.
“That pipe is part of the 117 feet of stream bed we’re disturbing, because we’re replacing the stream bed with the bottom of a pipe. The configuring of the pipe also affected the stream bed, so under the new law, the project just wasn’t economically feasible.
Albert said they were still in the preliminary stages of finding an alternative project for the site and were looking at a project that would be the most economically feasible to the county.
Albert also advised they are seeking survey responses in regards to the updated comprehensive plan. A link to the survey can be found at swipco.mysocialpinpoint.com/live-montgomery-county.
“There are pages posted that provide a QR code for phones that will take them to the survey. We’re encouraging everyone to go online and fill out that survey,” commented Albert.
The supervisors also approved a tax abatement on county-owned property north of 200th St. and west of G Avenue.
In other business, the supervisors:
• Approved the sheriff’s report of fees for April, 2023, in the amount of $17,600.
• Approved the recorder’s report of fees for April, 2023, in the amount of $16,730.
• Approved the renewal of an alcohol license for the Red Oak Country Club.