County engineer Jon Halbgewachs updated the county commissioners on current construction projects at the Ford County Commission meeting on Monday.
Many construction projects varying from bridge replacements to road reconstruction continue throughout Ford County. Engineer Jon Halbgewachs updated the county commissioners on these projects at the Ford County Commission meeting on Monday.
A recent project that has been a major point of concern to the county is the construction of the Bloom Wind Farm, although the wind farm itself isn’t necessarily the concern.
During the engineer report at the county commission meeting on Feb. 20, Halbgewachs explained that excessive damage was done to Yucca Road, a road just next to the wind farm, during the construction of the wind farm. At that time, Halbgewachs informed the commissioners that the wind farm was waiting on their contractor to present a proposal on repairing those damages.
“The wind farm kind of hit a road block I guess you could say with their contractor on coming up with a proposal, so they’ve asked us to do it,” said Halbgewachs. “We’ve done some notations of the damage done there. They’ve asked us to generate a proposal to have those repaired in short term to make it a little more pleasing for the driver now, as well as a proposal for what we would like to see as a long term fix for the future of the county. Kirkham Michael is working on that right now and planning on having it done by this week to present to Road and Bridge as well as the wind farm.”
Halbgewachs stated that part of the repairs would not occur until after the wind farm construction is complete, just in case there’s any further damage. He then assured the commissioners that the proposal would only be between Kirkham Michael and Bloom Wind Farm.
The next project discussed was the Western Plains Wind Farm.
In the Feb. 20 county commission meeting, Halbgewachs informed the commissioners that damage was done to 132 Road, a road right by the wind farm, though not as extensive as the Yucca Road damages.
“Their construction is complete on the wind farm. We have a follow-up meeting with them this afternoon on site to discuss the desired repairs that we have on that and what we could come up with,” said Halbgewachs. “The main thing is to focus on getting the patching done and the main repairs to the pavement, then the county would apply the seal next year.”
Commissioner Tasset asked if the county could get the cost of the chip seal covered as a part of their road maintenance agreement. Halbgewachs then assured him that that aspect was under discussion because the chip seal needs to be completed sooner than 1 year after patching is complete.
“That was our original approach was to ask for them to pay for the entire thing,” Halbgewachs said. “The extent of the patching needs to be sealed afterwards, otherwise those patches will take on water and probably break out again. If there was any way they would pick up the cost of the chip seal as well as the patching, that’s what seems fair to me to do.”
Halbgewachs then stated that he had scheduled an onsite meeting with the wind farm later that day to discuss the matter.
As for the newer projects, Halbgewachs stated that they are currently looking through inventory to possibly widen off-system bridge 31.
“I was able to find the inventory that was done 6 maybe even 8 years ago by the Road and Bridge director at the time,” said Halbgewachs. “Chris is following up and going back through the inventory to make sure what was on the list is still there or not and to see if they have the beams in stock that we might be able to utilize to build a new bridge and save some cost.”
He then stated that they will get inventory verified and start the planning process shortly after.
Another project that Kirkham Michael is looking into is the area east of 135 Road where some excess water is damaging crops.
“I was able to drive out there on my way out last month, there’s just no where else for this water to go,” said Halbgewachs. “It’s probably 100 yards long by 40 yards wide, it’s a pretty good size area. They’re trying to plant and I think it’s the water that’s killing the crops, so I’m going to talk to the survey department about doing a topographic survey out there.”
Halbgewachs then explained their plans to drain the area.
“There’s a pipe culvert to the east under the entrance and there’s a creek just east of that,” he said. “We’re going to see if we can cut a ditch going east to drain it through that pipe— we’ll see if that will work or not. Kind of running from the south to north there’s a natural terrace that goes through the road to the field too, so it doesn’t appear to me that it has anything to do with the road necessarily, just kind of a natural, low area.”
Halbgewachs stated that they are looking at a low-cost method to draining the excess water. He added that it might take a few weeks, but they will get back to the landowner on that.
All three commissioners approved the engineer report.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding