Repair on 34 road may begin this month

Published 8:52 am Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Repairs on Freeborn County Road 34 could begin as early as the end of August. Freeborn County commissioners approved a bid for construction, which allows work to begin as soon as Aug. 18, according to county Engineer Sue Miller.

Commissioners Tuesday morning accepted the low bid of $342,500 from Sundblad Construction for work on County Road 34 where a washout occurred during the June 11 and 12 floods. The 30-foot washout resulted in the death of three people and injuries of five others.

The work would remove and replace two culverts — one being the washed out section of County Road 34 and the other a culvert farther down stream that would need work to handle a larger flow of water.

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Miller said construction would most likely begin the week of Aug. 25. Crews have 25 working days to complete the project, and it must be started by Sept. 15. Such a project, Miller said in July, usually takes 18 to 24 months in preliminary design analysis.

“We felt very blessed on this project,” she said.

The Highway Department was able to put a contract together, obtain necessary permits, secure funding and get plans approved in three weeks, which Miller said is “almost a record.”

Four of the five bids received by the Highway Department were “well under” the contractor’s estimate, Miller said.

The Highway Department, Miller said in July, applied for Minnesota Department of Transportation funding to assist with the $575,000 worth of repairs needed to County Road 34. The road repair is not eligible for FEMA funds.

MnDOT will participate in the repairs through bridge bonding money, according to Miller, from the Office of State Aid. She said the county could get $450,000 for the entire project, which includes work on a township road down stream.

The existing corrugated metal pipe arch culvert is 11 feet by 7 feet. Due to the location of a culvert down stream underneath gravel 185th Street in Oakland Township, which may not support increased flows, it is recommended that two 6-foot corrugated metal pipes and a double line of 10 1/2 feet by 6 1/2 feet reinforced-concrete pipe arch culverts replace the existing system.

Increasing the size of both culverts will allow for a 10-year storm event, Miller said.