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County commissions to discuss Belvue Bridge

By The Mercury

Pottawatomie and Wabaunsee County commissioners will meet Nov. 19, to determine what — if anything — is to be done with the Belvue Bridge, an aging two-lane span across the Kansas River connecting the counties southeast of Belvue.

The meeting will be held at 11 a.m. in the commissioners’ room of the Pott County Office Building at Westmoreland, and Pott County officials hope to get public feedback on the issue either during or prior to the meeting.

“I’d be really interested to see what people in this area think about it,” Commission Chairman Gary Yenzer said Monday.

The two counties face a multimillion dollar project if they decide to proceed with one of three options presented recently.

Option 1: Keep the current piers but replace the bridge deck with another lightweight deck at an estimated cost of $3.75 million.

Option 2: Keep the current piers but replace the deck with an aluminum deck covered with a thin concrete layer at an estimated cost of $10.3 million.

Option 3: Replace the entire bridge at an estimated cost of $12.3 million.

According to the latest traffic count by the Kansas Department of Transportation, fewer than 500 vehicles cross the bridge daily.

If commissioners from the two counties decide to proceed with repair or replacement of the bridge, state statute dictates that the cost share is based on assessed valuation.

Based on current valuation figures, Pott County would bear the major portion of the cost––about 86 percent––while Wabaunsee County would be responsible for the remaining 14 percent.

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