PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Pratt County Commission: Bridge replacement sparks issue with KDOT

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  • A counter proposal for a contract between Pratt County and Kansas Department of Transportation was approved at the Pratt County Commission meeting Monday.
    In the original proposed contract, KDOT would cover repairs to SE 100th Avenue for damages to the road that will be used as a detour during bridge construction on K-42 that will close the road to through traffic.
    When the commissioners received the original contract, KDOT offered to cover $25,000 for any repairs to the road. But the contract had no provisions for bridges and there is a bridge on SE 100th Avenue that has a 40-ton limit.
    Randy Phillippi, county road supervisor, was concerned the increase of traffic over the projected four to five month construction period could cause damage to the bridge or might even cause it to fail.
    So when the contract was returned to KDOT for approval, Pratt County Counselor Bob Schmisseur penciled in “bridges” to be covered in the contract.
    Scott Mullen, KDOT area engineer, reported to the commissioners that KDOT would not accept the contract under the conditions that they would be responsible for damage to the bridge.
    Mullen said KDOT’s intention was to offer a way to provide funds to cover damage to the road and not to cause problems for the county.
    Alternatives for a shoofly around the bridge under construction had been discussed but it would have been cost prohibitive so a detour on SE 100th Avenue was chosen to route traffic around the construction area.
    The commissioners agreed to send a counter proposal back to KDOT that would request them to cover damages to the road, in general, up to $50,000. The county would do any repairs and KDOT would reimburse the amount.
    The bridge in question is about four miles south of Cairo. It is near the end of its useful life and had a sufficiency rating of 6 that meant it would be able to handle the traffic. In bridge ratings a 10 is a new bridge that has never been used and as the numbers go down, the quality of the bridge goes down, Mullen said.
    Mullen estimated the cost to replace the bridge on SE 100th Avenue at $300,000.
    Jason Winkel, county landfill manager, said a proposed plan to use recycle bins in the county would mean those bins would have to be dumped and the contents sorted.
    Exactly where that sorting would take place was an issue. Commissioner Joe Reynolds said there was not enough space at the recycle center.
    Winkel said he would have to figure out the most efficient way to sort and clean the cans and bottles but he thought having the bins was a good idea.
    “It’ll be a learning experience,” Winkel said.
    Page 2 of 2 - Pratt Regional Medical Center Plant Operations Manager Mike Patton reported that work was currently under way in the back of the house area. He estimates it will take from 10 to 12 days to finish that project. A lot of parking spaces for doctors and dialysis patients have to be blocked out to do the work.
    Work on the patient wing is advancing with walls painted, tile in the restrooms and lights in the patient rooms.
    Work on the new freight elevator hit a snag when a casing was broken but it has been repaired and the elevator should be up and running by Aug. 23. In the meantime, the staff that uses that elevator has to take the long way around to get supplies from place to place.
    Susan Page, PRMC president and CEO, reported that July sales tax was $182,000 and surpassed the projected amount of $107,000.
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