At Wednesday’s meeting of the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors, County Engineer Les Dungan asked the board to take action on a bid, gave the board an update on ongoing projects, and provided insight on possible challenges facing the county in regards to bridges built on timber pilings.
In regards to ongoing projects, Dungan recommended the board award the bid for the replacement of the Hickory Grove Road bridge to MATCO Incorporated. MATCO’s bid was the lowest, and in Dungan’s assessment of all 6 bids received, was also the best. Dungan had estimated the work to cost $316,182.00. MATCO’s bid was $312,014.01 for the project. Dungan noted that MATCO, who is currently working to complete a bridge on Spring Hill Road and would be able to move that crew and equipment over to the Hickory Grove Road bridge and possibly begin work in 4 to 6 weeks depending on the weather.
In regards to the Spring Hill work, Dungan told the board that two of the four bridges are completed and open. The work on the two bridges on the north side should be closed next week in order to begin the work on them.
Rock Ranch Road bridge work is almost complete. The bridge is open, but the approach guard rails, striping, and signs are all that is left to complete the project.
The bid package for the bridge replacement on Otis Jones road is almost ready and will be released to contractors for bidding very soon so that the county will have those bids in place when the Spring Hill Road bridges on the north side are complete.
Dungan presented a maintenance job plan for five state aid road sites where he has found there is a need for repairs. Dungan noted that he had met with the District Director from the state and he reviewed the plan. The five sites include a culvert on McNeill Steephollow Road, bridge approaches on the McNeill Steephollow bridge, a cattle pass on West Union Road, a culvert on Oak Hill – Fords Creek road, and the far end of Oak Hill-Fords Creek needs base work repairs.
Dungan gave the board insight to what may be ahead in the next two years in relation to timber piling supported bridges in the county. Dungan said the current process is for the county to work directly with the inspectors. Dungan noted things are about to change with the state hiring the inspectors and working with them to inspect the bridges with timber pilings.
Dungan told the board, “For the past 17 to 18 years, I’ve been responsible for inspecting those bridges and working with you keeping those bridges repaired and maintained. The state, working with the Federal Highway Administration, hired inspectors to perform inspections using a small sampling of the more than 3,000 timber piling bridges statewide, and showed that all of the bridges in the sampling would be closed. The reason I mention this is that the new process is you will have someone coming in from the state to do the inspections.”
Dungan’s concern is that it is possible that more bridges may have to be repaired and he suggested the county look at procuring a unit price for “repairable piling repair including piling splicing”. This would allow the county to be ready to do repairs with contractors proactively would save the county from having a large number of possible closures due to the inspections.
In regards to the drainage problem at the Pearl River County Hospital, Dungan told the board that the work is complete and he is very pleased with how the contractor Keith Lott did the work.
Dungan said “I feel that they did a great job and solved a very significant problem for around $13,000.00.