Ward County looks to replace bridge

Submitted Photo Load restrictions went on a bridge in Donnybrook after an inspection. The bridge is planned for replacement.

A planned bridge replacement in Donnybrook that is expected to disrupt local traffic once work begins next year is already disrupting air base travel.

Ward County recently was notified by state bridge inspectors that the bridge on County Road 5 will need to be limited to no more than 30-ton loads. With this load limit, the Minot Air Force Base missile wing no longer will be able to use the bridge. Larsen said the county is working with base officials to locate an alternate route.

Larsen said the Department of Defense is interested in helping replace the bridge and has offered 80% funding for preliminary engineering, with the goal of bidding the project next spring. The design budget is $200,000. The county is seeking grants toward the project, Larsen said.

The commission approved advertising for engineering services and entering a cost participation agreement with the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

Larsen said the bridge is the only load-restricted bridge on the county road system. The county’s goal is not to have any load-restricted bridges, he said.

Bridge inspectors found other bridges in the county that will need work over the next 10 years, including two others eligible for replacement, Larsen said.

In other business, the commission selected EAPC to provide architectural services for the design and construction of an equipment storage building at the Ward County Highway Department. The intent is to complete the design this fall and let bids before the end of the year.

The commission accepted the $162,900 bid of Hanson’s Excavating to demolish the Olson Apartments and Ying Bin buildings in Kenmare. The bid was $34,329 over the estimate, prompting the commission to transfer additional federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars to cover the expense.

The county currently has an unallocated balance of $55,258 in its ARPA account. The county was awarded more than $13 million and allocated the money toward internal projects and toward grants to cities, townships and nonprofits.

The commission is holding the balance as contingency, which could grow before eventually being re-appropriated. If grant recipients are unable to meet the December 2025 project completion deadline or don’t have the required local match, they will have to turn back their grants. The City of Des Lacs recently turned back an $80,699 sewer grant.

An ARPA allocation report provided to the commission showed 21 culvert and bridge projects for $1.17 million; five graveling projects for $120,500; five park projects for $126,185; eight water and sewer projects for $3.43 million; 12 first responder projects for $365,259; five road projects for $146,900; three city improvement projects for $47,875; eight public health projects for $291,042; three housing projects for $2.1 million; and four tourism projects for $125,654. Internal funds to be spent by the county total $5.1 million. The county set aside $100,000 if needed to supplement the $350,000 provided for a Youthworks facility.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today