Replacing the old bridge over the small creek at 13th Street and Buena Vista Avenue will cost the city a little more than expected, but it might save homeowners who live nearby money on insurance because of the design of the new structure.

Replacing the old bridge over the small creek at 13th Street and Buena Vista Avenue will cost the city a little more than expected, but it might save homeowners who live nearby money on insurance because of the design of the new structure.


The Carthage City Council heard on first reading a contract with Hartman & Co. of Springfield to replace the bridge at a cost of $197,400 at its regular meeting on Tuesday.


That cost, plus the approximately $41,000 the city has already spent on engineering costs for the project, means the total cost will be a little more than $238,000. The city budgeted $225,000 for the entire project.


Public Works Director Zeb Carney said the extra cost can be covered by money saved on other construction projects that have already been completed.


Carney said the small bridge, which carries 13th Street over a creek, must be replaced because the bridge deck is cracked. He said the bridge is still safe to use, but it is deteriorating.
Carney the new bridge will be longer, meaning more water will be able to flow down the creek during periods of high water.


Carney said the lengthened bridge should change the federal government's flood plain maps in such a way that the homeowners who live on Buena Vista won't be in a flood plain anymore and won't be required to buy federal flood insurance, saving them hundreds of dollars a year.
This was the second time the city had sought bids on the project.


The first time, in November 2013, the low bid was $279,124, well over the city's budgeted amount of $225,000.


Carney and the Carthage Street Department went back to the drawing board and worked up new bid specifications that included city crews doing some of the concrete work and some of the road construction on the approaches to the bridge.


Carney said contract provides that the bridge will be finished 90 days after work begins sometime after the City Council gives final approval to the project, possibly at the Jan. 27 regular meeting.


He said 13th Street will be closed during construction, which might not take the full 90 days depending on weather and other factors.