Five county roads tagged for bridge safety upgrades

Published 9:07 pm Monday, March 11, 2019

Five county bridges will receive much-needed safety upgrades thanks to a grant from the High Risk Rural Roads program.

Administered by the Federal Highway Administration, the program provides funding for rural roads with high risks of accidents and higher fatality rates.

Russell Oliver, Pike County engineer, said the funds will be used to bring bridge guardrails up to safety standards and to add end anchors that protect vehicles from crashing into the end of guardrail.

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Bridges flagged for the program include those on County Roads 4442, 1111, 1165, 3339 and 5534. The cost of the program is $261,644 and it is funded through an HRRR grant and a 10 percent match from the county, Oliver said.

“If we prevent one fatality, it’s worth it,” he said.

Pike County Commissioners approved participation in the program during their Monday meeting.

In other business, the commission:

Authorized the purchase of 15 new laptop computers for the Pike County Sherriff’s Department to use in their vehicles. “They had applied for a grant to purchase computers for the patrol cards but it got denied,” said Commissioner Jimmy Barron, District 3. “They would have to wait another year to apply again … but the computers are old and in pretty rough shape.” Barron said he worked with County Administrator McKenzie Wilson to identify funds in the inmate housing account that could be utilized for the purchase. The commission approved the purchase for $28,033.95.

Authorized the road department to purchase a 15-passenger van and a new trailer for the litter clean-up program.

Accepted a $764 EMPG grant for the EMA program.

Approved a bid of $185,391 for the construction of the Meeksville community storm shelter.

Approved a resolution seeking local-private legislation that would grant a way for law enforcement personnel to place individuals suspected of mental health issues under protective custody for short-term treatment and evaluation, up to 72 hours. Probate Judge Michael Bunn said he was working with State Rep. Wes Allen, R-Troy, to draft the legislation, which addresses a gap in providing services for individuals dealing with mental health issues. Working with Troy Regional Medical Center,  law enforcement personnel could transport individuals for evaluation and short-term treatment, without creating a criminal history for the individual. The commissioners unanimously approved the resolution endorsing the act.