First two bridges funded with ARPA have been determined; “it’s hard to find a bridge worse than this one”

The issue of crumbling roads and bridges to be fixed with ARPA funds that has plagued the County Commissioner’s desks for weeks now has finally been pushed to start.

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Under the Guy Engineering Contract with the county for $50,000, the county will begin with two small bridges in dire need of repair. The contract allows the county to send Guy Engineering the location of a bridge where the company will then examine and complete a hydrology report—among other things—to return to the county. The county can complete projects and continue new projects until the $50,000 cap is reached, and then consider renewing the contract. If at the end of the fiscal year there is still money floating for this contract and they haven’t reached the $50,000 maximum, the funds can be moved into the next fiscal year to continue the projects. Each project still needs to come before the board and be approved by the commissioners.

To kick off the ARPA Road and Bridge project are two small bridges that are in a state of great disrepair and of great concern to the Creek County commissioners. Newt Stephens of District No. 1 stated of the first bridge, “It’s not what the state government calls a bridge.” The 10ft structure is composed primarily of wood supports with gravel on top, and is located on a school bus route. “Buses go over both of them daily,” Stephens continued, asking fellow commissioners to go ahead and have Guy Engineering take a look at these two bridges, adding “it’s hard to find a bridge worse than this one.” District No. 2 Commissioner Leon Warner agreed that these structures need immediate attention. Jarod Whitehouse of District No. 3 asked how long the hydrology report would take, to which Stephens responded it could take maybe a week or so. 

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273rd near 161st. Photo provided by Creek County Commissioners.

The first of these bridges is located along 273rd and 161st St just south of Havern, and the second bridge is along 211th west of 241st St. The board unanimously approved for Guy Engineering to move forward and examine these bridges, starting the ARPA funded project for improving Creek County’s roads and bridges.

Located on 211th west of 241st. Photo provided by Creek County Commissioners.

In other ARPA news, there was a small hiccup in receiving ARPA sewer and water projects from towns and cities around Creek County, as e-mail addresses expired or letters accidentally went to spam folders. The Board has extended the deadline for these projects to 5 p.m on March 14th to allow for these entities to turn in their projects. Stephens noted some of these projects were “big stuff beyond dreams and hopes” but he would hate to lose smaller projects that could help due to miscommunication in deadlines. The ARPA committee will discuss four projects already submitted and hope the rest will follow soon as cities prepare.