Wabaunsee considers its part in bridge project

By Kristina Jackson

The Belvue Bridge has been a topic of discussion for the Pottawatomie County Commission for some time, and now Wabaunsee County officials are joining in.

Wabaunsee County Commission chairman Ervan Stuewe said the commission has committed to funding part of a study to determine if the bridge would benefit from a polymer overlay surface, or whether an entirely new bridge will be necessary.

“We’ve worked together from the beginning,” Stuewe said of his counterparts in Pott County. “We’ll each share in the cost of that study.”

The two counties jointly own the bridge, with each county’s share determined by its population and valuation. Stuewe said Wabaunsee County’s share currently is around 20 percent of the costs of the study.

The study, which will cost an estimated $44,000 according to Pottawatomie County administrator Robert Reece, will be conducted by Truesdell Corp. The company specializes in the renovation of bridges using polymer overlays and recently completed a project in Kingman.

“There will be one engineer doing the study, and we’re just sharing in the cost of that,” Stuewe said.

According to Stuewe, the study is being conducted in part because the counties were told that an overlay could not be placed on this bridge.

“We weren’t satisfied with that, so we decided to pursue this a little better,” Stuewe said. “It felt like a good candidate.”

Although Pottawatomie County is the leader of this project, Wabaunsee County will do its part as partial owner, Stuewe told the commission.

“I confirmed that we wanted to move forward,” he said.

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