County approves bridge contract

September 01, 2004|by TARA REILLY

WASHINGTON COUNTY - The Broadfording Road bridge likely will be repaired enough to open this winter, but it will close again in the spring so the contractor can complete the project, Washington County Public Works Director Gary Rohrer said Tuesday.

The County Commissioners agreed to a $1.4 million contract on Tuesday with Building Systems Inc. of Hagerstown to fix the stone-arch bridge, which has been closed for more than a year.

The contract is contingent upon approval by the State Highway Administration, which Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said probably would come in about two weeks.


The cost of the project is about $707,000 more than what the county originally budgeted, but the commissioners voted to spend the extra money after a dispute kept the bridge closed longer than anticipated.

The county closed the bridge in June 2003. It was to be finished later that year, but the county and the original contractor couldn't agree on the cost of additional work needed because of weather-related damage to the bridge.

The commissioners terminated that contract in March 2004 and have been looking for another contractor since then.

The project is expected to begin on Oct. 18 and continue through the end of the year, when work will stop for the winter, according to a written statement.

During the winter, the bridge will be open from about Jan. 1, 2005, through June 1, 2005, when it will be closed again so the contractor can finish the job.

The county anticipates the project will be completed by Sept. 30, 2005, Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said.

Chuck McCann, who lives on Broadfording Road, said residents are pleased with the commissioners' response to their concerns about the bridge being closed for so long.

"This is terrific news," McCann said. "I really thank you very much."

Residents have said the closed bridge is an inconvenience and might slow ambulance response times in emergencies.

Residents plan to meet on the bridge Thursday at 4:30 p.m. to discuss the construction plans.

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