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Hickory Bridge Road Bridge repairs delayed

Danielle Ryan

(6/23) During the June Hamiltonban Board of Supervisors meeting the Board voted to decline the bid received for repair work to the Hickory Bridge Road Bridge. Franklin Township Board of Supervisors also declined the bid.

After placing the project out for bid this spring, the Townships only received one bid in the amount of $149,000 from Lobar Associates, which far exceeded the original estimate of $100,000. The repair cost for the bridge is being split between Franklin Township and Hamiltonban Township, as the bridge lies on the adjoining township’s lines. Therefore, the decision to veto the bid was a joint decision between both townships. The bid, as discussed, just isn’t cost effective for either Hamiltonban or Franklin.

During a special meeting held on June 21, with officials from both Hamiltonban and Franklin Township, future plans for the bridge repair were discussed. Three options were presented as viable alternates for the future of this project. Both townships could choose to do the project in-house, and bid for materials, they could re-bid the project again this fall in hopes of receiving more bidders at a potentially lower cost, or they could build a different style bridge.

Franklin Township Chairman JR Crushong questioned the feasibility of doing the project in-house. Hamiltonban Roadmaster Ray Herr, Jr. and Franklin Roadmaster Jeff Black both agreed that doing the project in-house would be doable. The hardest part of the project would be removing the bridge deck, and welding it back on when the rest of the work was complete.

Brandon Guiher, the Project Engineer for the Hickory Bridge Project, was present at both June meetings and recommended that the Boards reject the $149,000 bid, and either do the project within the Townships or advertise again next year. It is his hope that if the Townships choose to advertise the project again next year, they will stand a better chance of receiving more bids at lower prices. It was also mentioned that the Low Volume Road Grant for the project, which was received in May, could be extended, and the permits received from DEP are good for two years.

Both townships agreed to re-bid the entire project this fall as well as look into a plan B. Plan B would consist of pricing materials needed for the project or looking into a different style bridge, possibly an arch bridge. The bridge repair was originally projected for completion by this September, if the bid had been accepted, but now may not begin until next summer. If the project is re-bid the townships can get on the contractor’s schedule for an early summer start time to be completed by August of 2018.

As stated by Guiher, Hickory Bridge Road Bridge is not in any immediate danger of collapse. It is fully operable and both Townships have already ensured that weight restriction signs are present at the entrances to the bridge.

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