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County Commission Wants To Get Jump On Box Culverts

By MARK EVANS

mevans@stegenherald.com

Getting a head start on next year’s box culvert replacements could put Ste. Genevieve County in a better place.

After delays had moved the Kocher Road box culvert’s anticipated delivery date back to Nov. 4 (after initially being planned for mid September), the county commission found that orders may need to be made this month to ensure May 2022 deliveries of the concrete structures, due to various shortages.

Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson suggested that road and bridge foreman Scott Schmieder prioritize the need for box culverts for 2022.

“You need to decide,” Nelson said. “They’re so backed up on orders, if you order now, it’ll be here in May.”

Schmieder will assess county roads and determine which culverts need replacing the worst.

Meanwhile, Schmieder said that Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) officials had given him “the A-OK” to proceed with his plans to widen the entrance to Coppermine Road across from the Midway Bar & Grill.

Truck 7, a 2011 Freightliner, is still in a shop in the St. Louis area, awaiting a part for its transmission.

Meanwhile, the commissioners discussed how to pick up the county’s new Western Star dump truck at Viking Cives in Morley. They had previously decided to make the trip to Morley with Schmieder to pick it up and tour the plant. Nelson wants Associate Commissioners Karen Stuppy and Randy Ruzicka, who have been on the job less than a year, to see the operation.

The county has also ordered a large supply of rubber-tipped snowplow blades from the firm. It may not be feasible to bring them back in the new truck, with a spreader bed attached to it.

Some discussion as held as to how and if the blades will be boxed. They make take a pickup with or without a trailer when they go down and bring the blades back in it. Schmieder said he would find out the weight of the blades and how they are packed.

Schmieder also reported that the skid steer was broken down. He said personnel from Fabick Cat was there, working on the machine.

The commissioners also want to decide which roads can still get a chip and seal paving this fall. They will examine sections of Charter Church Road, Smith Road and Westover. Chipping and sealing costs about $25,000 per mile – much cheaper than asphalt. Nelson noted, though, that they should figure in the cost of gas for hauling the rock.

 A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

Talk later turned to the state’s Off-system Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation (BRO) program, which used to be a favorite means of the commission to repair or replace bridges. Eligibility for BRO money for bridges, however, has shrunk drastically.

It appears that only one bridge in the county would qualify at the moment.

The information sent to them made it unclear which bridge it was referring to. It was in or near St. Mary, the commissioners were not sure if it meant the bridge on Second Street/Highway 61.

After speaking with Chris Crocker of MoDOT, it was determined that it was actually what they call the Franklin Bridge. The century-old bridge on Franklin Road had been a concern for the commissioners before they had a metal grating put in place of its rotting boards, and had a deteriorated turnbuckle replaced.

One bridge that the county would like to see replaced, the Fourth Street bridge by the Ste. Genevieve City Hall, is not currently on the eligible list.