By TESA GLASS
MT. VERNON —
The county will be conducting a study to determine the specifications for a railroad overpass bridge planned for 11th Street in Belle Rive.
“Belle Rive had their village board meeting last night and they discussed the bridge,” County Engineer Brandon Simmons told the Highway Committee Wednesday night. “We’re working with the C & N Railroad. They want us to go ahead with a study for the bridge at 11th Street to see what the footprint will be and how much area it is going to take there.”
Simmons reported the bridge is being paid for by the railroad and the Interstate Commerce Commission.
“The initial survey there would put the top deck surface at 10 foot above the ground level as it is now to clear the tracks,” Simmons said. “They want us to proceed with the study and see how much ground it will take. Then, they can make a final determination if that’s where it needs to be.”
Simmons said based on his experience, he believes the bridge overpass would be “enormous.”
“At Fifth Street, there is only a two foot rise,” Simmons said. “I believe the touch down could be made before the driveway next to it. I’ll be contacting the consultant this week to get started on the study.”
Simmons said the study would determine width, length and height in addition to how much right of way would be needed in the 11th Street location.
“I just have a feeling it will take private property,” Simmons predicted. “They have 60 foot right-of-way now.”
The committee also discussed the mowing policy and the drainage tile policy, which will be presented to the full board for approval. Simmons said the policies are no different than the practices that have been in effect for years, but the policies will be made available to the public through the new Internet web site.
“It is the intent of the Jefferson County Highway Department to ensure safe travels on all county highways,” the proposed mowing policy states. “The county will make every effort to keep the right-of-way clear of obstructions throughout the year, however, resources are limited and every roadway may not be clear at all times. The policy of the Jefferson County Highway Department is to mow one pass on every highway at the beginning of the mowing season. Throughout the summer months to the end of mowing season, the department will mow to the extent of the right-of-way where possible.”
Simmons said some of the other area counties are mowing only one time along county roadways due to savings on gasoline.
“When you’re in deer country like this, you really need to cut it as often as you can,” Simmons added.
The drain tile policy outlines what residents must do when a tile is required.
“It is the policy of the Jefferson County highway Department that when a resident requires a drainage tile for purposes of a new field or residential entrance, provided the tile is for the explicit purpose of highway drainage, the resident making the request must purchase the drainage tile in accordance with the County Engineer’s recommendation for size and length,” the proposed policy states. “The County Highway Department will install the tile within a reasonable time frame. After the tile is installed, it becomes the property of Jefferson County and will be maintained by the Highway Department in perpetuity. Any extension of drainage tile beyond the actual entrance to the property will be maintained by the property owner.”
In other business, the committee:
n Approved the annual load limit resolution to place maximum load limits on all roads excepted established truck routes for a period not to exceed 90 days during the 2013 calendar year;
n Appropriated $1.4 million in motor fuel tax funds for the 2013 calendar year — $100,000 above the appropriation for 2012;
n Approved appropriating $84,600 in motor fuel tax funds to be used for the county engineer salary;
n Discussed using metal box culverts instead of replacing a township bridge on Falcon Lane in Pendleton Township;
n Discussed the Malecki Road bridge construction. Simmons reported the plans and all specifications have been completed and are expected to be submitted to the Illinois Department of Transportation this week. A January or February bid letting on the project is expected; and
n Heard an update on the Spring Garden Road bridge replacement project, which is now completed. Simmons said the Dodds Township Road Commissioner, Joel Ham, has opened the roadway after oil and chipping the bridge. Guard rails are expected to be installed on the bridge, located south of Dodds Grade School, later this week.