Mt. Vernon Register-News

March 21, 2013

Bridge project at impasse

By RICK HAYES rick.hayes@register-news.com
The Register-News

---- — MT. VERNON —Described by County Highway Engineer Brandon Simmons as a "hiccup," a stalemate has been reached between the village of Belle Rive and a railroad company for a railroad overpass bridge.

Simmons reported during Wednesday's Highway Committee meeting that village officials have balked at signing an agreement with Canadian National Railway to due a stipulation in the contract. Initially, a location on 11th Street had been considered, but through negotiations, a secondary location on Fifth Street was agreed upon by the parties involved.

"I thought everybody was in agreement. The railroad sent the village an agreement. There were several stipulations in the agreement including that the village would get the bridge and be responsible for maintenance, and they would destroy the remaining two bridges over the railroad track. The third stipulation — what they didn't like — is that the village would relinquish all right of way excess to the railroad in all three locations," Simmons reported. The village had three bridges at one point, but they're all closed now.

"Belle Rive believes that one day it may be possible that one day they will have the funds to build a bridge over the railroad. They would like to have two bridges," he added. "If they relinquish their right of way, they will have no way to force the railroad to allow them to build a structure."

A letter has been prepared by the village's attorney expressing their concerns and returned to the railroad, Simmons reported. In an earlier report, Simmons indicated the bridge is being for with a 60/40 split between the railroad and the Interstate Commerce Commission.

IN OTHER BUSINESS:

n Simmons reported the county highway tour will commence at 9 a.m. Saturday from the highway department office.

n Synergy was accepted as this month's provider of fuel and gasohol.

n Work on the Wells Bypass Road bridge project is progressing. Simmons estimated the bridge could reopen to traffic by as early as Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

n A Federal Aid Agreement for the Violet Road Bridge project was approved. The project will receive 80 percent federal funding, 16 percent from Field Township and 4 percent local match. Simmons said bids for the project will be opened in June.

n A bid of $356,000 for the Log Cabin Lane overlay project was accepted recently from E.T. Simmons Construction Co. Simmons said the bid was "well under" the estimated projected cost.