LIVINGSTON COUNTY – The vast majority of a preventative maintenance project for four bridges in Livingston County will be paid for by New York State and Federal grant funds.
According to Don Higgins, Livingston County’s Superintendent of Highways, of the $1.145 million required to prolong the lives of four bridges, Livingston County’s share is just 5.5 percent.
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“This is a good thing for local government,” said Higgins. “We will repair joints and steel, sandblast and paint four bridges in Livingston County. If the County tried to do this on its own the cost would be much, much higher.”
Higgins said that the preventative maintenance grants will prolong the lives of these bridges for 50 to 70 years.
The grants from higher government make it feasible for the County to adjust the projects as contractors begin to dig into the bridges. For example, preventative maintenance at the bridge on Scipio Road in Mount Morris saw an unexpected cost hike after the contractor, CP Ward, found significant moisture and insect damage at the ends of the bridge’s wooden deck. The unforeseen cost to replace the deck was a 45 percent increase from $442,000 to $643,000, but the County’s share is affordable under the budget at a mere $11,000.
“This is good bang for the buck,” said Higgins. “This ensures that we will leave these bridges in good condition at a much lower cost than if we had tried to fund this ourselves.”