The Hancock County Engineers Office has announced a five-year plan for county road and bridge repairs.
County Engineer Jeremy Purvis discussed highlights of the plan with Hancock County Supervisors on March 15.
In fiscal year 2022, an estimated $440,000 local bridge project is planned north of Corwith with bid estimates to be sought in June 2021. Purvis said the low volume traffic bridge is not eligible for assistance funding.
Also in the 2022 budget is a $1.7 million stretch of blacktop repaving on County Road B20 (Pet Farm Blacktop) from the Kossuth County line to James Avenue. In addition, a $175,000 County Road B55 shoulder widening project with rumble strips is planned west of Klemme.
In fiscal year 2023, concrete pavement patching projects of an estimated total cost of $600,000 are planned on a long stretch of County Road R66 and R68 west of Klemme in both directions (north and south), as well as smaller stretches of a smaller road southwest of Garner (200th Street) and County Road B30 northwest of Garner.
Three bridge projects are also planned for the 2023 fiscal year, including two near Woden on Birch Avenue ($165,000) and Crane Avenue ($150,000) and another bridge west of Britt on Old Highway 18 ($525,000).
“The patching will consist of a few older concrete roads that are still good roads and need general maintenance,” said Purvis. “Two bridges near Woden will be converted to box culverts.”
Fiscal year 2024 should see the Forest City Municipal Airport blacktop (B14), the top trafficked road in Hancock County, receiving a PCC overlay that should help it last another 40-50 years, according to Purvis.
The estimated cost to pave County Road B14 from Forest City east to the county line is $3 million. A $275,000 bridge repair in western Hancock County, northeast of Corwith on Deer Avenue, is also slated for 2024.
Fiscal year 2025 has paving planned for County Roads R70 (River Road), Sage Avenue, and R74 (Yale Avenue), which connect to B14 near the Forest City airport in the far northern section of the county. The estimated price tag of the overlay projects is $1.2 million. A bridge replacement (transition to box culvert) north of Britt on County Road R35 is also planned in 2025.
Finally in 2026, two bridges near Crane Avenue and 190th Street, north of Corwith, are scheduled to be converted to box culverts at an estimated cost of $265,000 each. In addition, a two-inch overlay paving of County Road R35 from Woden to Crystal Lake should be added at a budgeted cost of $1 million.
Purvis said there is a catch 22 to swapping so many bridges that need repairs to box culverts. He said it means the monies the county receives for bridge programs in the future could be reduced, but “it’s good for farming and (box culverts) last at least 70 years.”
Rob Hillesland is community editor for the Summit-Tribune. He can be reached at 641-421-0534, or by email at email@example.com.