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Hickory Bridge repair

Danielle Ryan

(11/11) Hamiltonban Township is working to keep Hickory Bridge a two-lane bridge. The cost for the replacement of the bridge is being split between Franklin Township and Hamiltonban Township as the bridge lies on the adjoining township’s lines. Hickory Bridge is currently two lanes, but when replacement was discussed, the idea of making the bridge into a one-lane bridge was brought up.

After further discussion by the Hamiltonban Township’s Board and the town Solicitor Matthew Battersby, it was voted that it may be wise to suggest that the bridge remain a two-lane bridge, instead of "downsizing" to one lane.

In the earlier stages of discussion, Franklin Township noted the cost effectiveness of making the bridge only one lane; to which Hamiltonban had originally agreed. However, after reviewing the cost of both a one lane bridge and a two-lane bridge, (numbers were received early in November), there really wasn’t too much of a cost difference seen between the two options. The cost for construction of one lane is $92,840, and the construction for two lanes is $115,840, making a $23,000 difference. Both Townships originally thought there would be a sizable cost difference, but once split, there is only a $11,500 increase in cost to make the bridge two lanes.

The Board discussed many pros to making the bridge two lanes. There is no permit difference between one and two lanes, which is certainly a bonus. Next year, Hamiltonban Township will be re-doing the Hamiltonban side of Hickory Bridge Road leading up to the bridge. A new bridge and new road would allow more people to utilize the bridge including orchard growers and farmers. Orchard growers don’t currently use the bridge and road because the road is too bumpy and torn up that it bruises the fruit. If the bridge were kept two lanes, farmers would be able to use the bridge to drive their equipment from one location to the next. It was also noted that esthetically the bridge would look nicer if was two lanes.

After further discussion, the Board made a recommendation to Franklin Township to keep Hickory Bridge a two-lane bridge based upon the cost difference and future road plans.

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