Structure could be repaired or replaced
By Bert Lehman
An engineering firm will evaluate the pedestrian bridge over the Pigeon River near the Clintonville Community Center.
The Clintonville City Council approved hiring MSA on May 14 at a cost of $2,500. The cost will come from the city’s operating budget.
The evaluation will include a report of the extent of damage to the bridge, possible temporary or long-term repairs and a cost estimate to repair or replace the bridge.
Mayor Richard Beggs said he wants to know the minimum dollar amount needed to make the bridge useable again.
“This will be an evaluation by an engineer that does not build bridges, so hopefully they’ll be an independent thinker,” Beggs said.
City Administrator Sharon Eveland told the council the city previously received two cost estimates to repair the bridge, provided by companies that would be bidding on the project.
“This with MSA is getting an outside perspective from somebody who isn’t potentially looking at whether or not they are going to get work out of it,” Eveland said.
After viewing photos, “Their initial assessment is it will probably cost more to fix it than to remove it and replace it,” Eveland said of MSA. “But once they get on site and actually look at it and see it, they’ll make a determination as to whether the repairs will be too costly.”
In February 2018, Clintonville Public Works Director Kray Brown told the Clintonville Streets Committee he received an estimate of $8,500 to remove the bridge. At that same meeting, the committee decided the city should seek a second cost estimate to repair the bridge.
As of September 2018, the city had not received that second estimate.
At that streets committee meeting, Beggs said the city should seek an estimate for the minimum amount to make the bridge safe. It was also suggested to include the pedestrian bridge in a downtown river walk project.
The Clintonville Streets Committee was informed in December 2018 the city received the second cost estimate. The estimated repair costs ranged from $75,000 to $100,000.
Also at this meeting, the committee was told that in 2019 the city hoped a pedestrian bridge could be included in a downtown revitalization project that would include a river walk. The city planned to seek grant funding for this project.