Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Bridges of Nicollet County

In addition to all of the information presented in local media about local bridges, the following gives us a glimpse of Nicollet County’s bridges. Nicollet County Engineer, Mike Wagner reports that there are 71 bridges in Nicollet County (County and Township). 56 have been built or rebuilt since 1980. Our only river bridge is at CSAH 24, South of Courtland. None of our bridges are rated as structurally deficient. This is a credit to our public work’s staff and to the Nicollet County Board of Commissioners. Over the years, the county has aggressively pursued state bridge bonding money to upgrade our bridges.We have two people at the Public Works Department that are certified inspectors. For a few of the bridges (i.e., river bridge), we contract with MnDOT for inspection. By law, most bridge types must be inspected annually. County Engineers are also responsible for Township bridges. Local officials can be held liable if we allow the use by the public of a bridge that is unsafe.

Our County Engineer, Mike Wagner and the Nicollet County Board share concerns of many local officials that, Statewide, funding is grossly inadequate. We are hopeful that this tragedy may lead to a Special Legislative Session and another look at highway funding in general. The active project that Nicollet County is currently involved in is the replacement of Judson bridge. This is a cooperative effort with Blue Earth County. end

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