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Bridge Contract Approved

September 4, 2013
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

The Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors signed a contract for the construction of a new bridge west of Mallard during its weekly meeting Tuesday, Aug. 27. The Supervisors also discussed a drainage issue with their counterparts in Pocahontas County during a conference call as well.

Palo Alto County Engineer Joel Fantz reported that the Iowa Department of Transportation had conducted a bid letting for a bridge replacement project on County road B63 west of Mallard and that a total of six bids had been received, with the apparent low bid being submitted by Dixon Construction of Correctionville. Dixon's bid for the bid came in at $265,003.85, 79 percent of the government estimate for the project cost.

"This is a very good bid," Fantz told the supervisors. "There were six bidders for this project, and their bids ranged from 79 to 116 percent of the government estimate. There are some hungry contractors out there who are really looking for work."

Other firms bidding on the project included local bidders Merryman Construction of Algona and Graves Construction of Melvin, along with Christenson Construction, Godberson-Smith and Dunnick Construction firms, all located in the state.

On a motion from Supervisor Linus Solberg, the contract with Dixon Construction was approved and signed by the board.

In other business, an underground fiber optic cable permit was authorized for the Ayrshire Farmers Mutual Telephone Cooperative for work in Silver Lake Sections 15, 16, 17, 20 and 22, along 420 Street and 360 Avenue. Fantz advised that bids had been received for Title work for the Engineer's Office for right-of-way acquisition from McNally Abstract and Palo Alto Abstracting. "We're looking at 48 parcels to research along the Rodman road when we go to acquire right-of-way," Fantz explained. "McNally Abstract quoted a price of $120 per parcel for research and Palo Alto Abstracting quoted $150 per parcel. We will also need this work when we acquire right-of-way for the Silver Lake Scenic Byway and an additional mile by the Pro Coop Feed Mill."

Fantz also noted he had been contacted by a farmer about an old, posted 28' long bridge on a dead end gravel road. "This bridge is posted at eight tons, and the farmer needs to haul larger loads from a field over this bridge."

Fantz noted that to remove the old bridge and replace it with a new, Odin style bridge was estimated at $120,000, or a low-water crossing, where the bridge was replaced with multiple culvert tubes, could also be done. In that scenario, a heavy rain could cause water to run over the crossing a brief period of time.

The board members took the question under advisement.

In a conference call with Pocahontas County's Board of Supervisors, the two board agreed, as trustees of joint drainage district 63, to do some dipping of an area of the ditch where Branch L joins the main. Palo Alto County's long-stick excavation contractor will be used to perform the work to keep costs to a minimum for the affected landowners.

And in a final item of business, the board acknowledged a petition for a cleanout of 600 to 800 feet of the end of a creek that is part of Drainage District 25, located in Section nine of Fairfield township. The county's Secondary Road department will handle the work, which is estimated to take only a few hours.



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