Washington County Commissioners on Thursday approved a contract with Hammontree & Associates to inspect 21 bridges across the county by the end of 2014.
The North Canton company will focus on about 11 fracture-critical spans this year and inspect the remaining bridges in 2014. This year's inspections and five random inspections will cost about $20,121.
"We try to do as many bridge inspections as we can in-house," said Washington County Engineer Roger Wright. "With the (Aug. 1, 2007) bridge collapse in Minnesota, the state changed a lot of the criteria for truss bridges."
The county also plans to do five random inspections and some underwater inspections to check anything that can't be seen. The aim of the inspections is to make sure any work completed here is being done correctly and to check the condition of the bridges. Each bridge in the county is inspected at least every five years.
"The field work will consist of getting within arm's reach of all fracture-critical members using a combination of ladders, climbing techniques and scaffolding," according to information from the firm.
2013 Bridge Inspections
County Road 124, Little Hocking.
Archers Fork at Ward, County Road 14, scheduled for replacement in 2014.
Rainbow Creek at Ferrebee, County Road 4.
Duck Creek at Stevens, Aurelius Township 75.
Little Hocking at Martin, County Road 111.
Plum Run at Needham, County Road 3.
West Branch of Wolf Creek at Bowman, Township Road 200.
Duck Creek at Stanleyville, County Road 42.
Cats Creek at Wicken, County Road 76.
Killwell Road at Duckworth, County Road 16.
Little Hocking at Millbranch, Township 289.
East Fork of Duck Creek at Lower Salem, Township 38.
Duck Creek at Jackson, Township Road 74.
Little Muskingum at Upper Macksburg, Township 761.
Little Muskingum at Cornerville, County Road 20.
Little Muskingum of Cow Run, Township Road 19.
Eightmile Creek at Eightmile, Country Road 9.
Pawpaw Creek at Schofield, Township Road 324.
Mill Creek at Alloway, Township Road 266.
Newells Run at Miller No. 1 northeast, Township 19.
West Branch of Little Hocking, twin span, Township Road 246.
Hopkins, Dunham Township Road 3 .
Lowell, Country Road 60.
Veto Lake, Country Road 805.
Alloway, Grandview Township Road 66.
Mud Lane, Newport Township 443.
Henthorn, Lawrence Township 37 .
Also on Thursday, the commissioners approved a contract with the Ohio Historical Society for $780,700 for restoration to the W.P. Snyder. The Ohio Department of Transportation received a federal grant for the project in partnership with the historical society. However, the commissioners are absolved of any responsibility. The terms of the grant require a local agency or entity to partner with ODOT and the historical society.
The project is the second phase of the restoration. The W.P. Snyder Jr. is the steam hauling boat that is the signature exhibit at the Ohio River Museum. The project will include replacement of the main deck plating, boiler deck plating and the ship's electrical system and painting the entire vessel.
In other business
The commissioners also agreed to participate in a plan with County Commissioners Association of Ohio, an organization that represents the counties of Ohio, to get rates for electricity and natural gas for county properties. Washington County will pool with other counties, and the company will broker for reduced rates.
"We are agreeing to participate to see what kinds of rates we can get ... then we'll look at the contract," said Commissioner Ron Feathers. "Hopefully, it will be a big savings."
Under the agreement, the county will participate for five years and will be able to review rates before any contract is signed.
"If the county agrees to go with that, the townships can go into it also," said County Administrator Paul Cunningham.