Discussion in local Logansport Newspaper about possibly replacing this bridge. Here is the link http://pharostribune.com/local/x2089091886/Replacement-plan
May 14, 2012
INDOT ‘generally agreed’ to new Market Street bridge
by Jason M. Rodriguez Pharos-Tribune
The nearly 100-year-old Market Street bridge over the Eel River in Logansport may be completely replaced by the Indiana Department of Transportation as part of a Hoosier Heartland Highway land swap.
Cass County will inherit four bridges from the state and the state will take three bridges from the county that are on a new route for Ind. 25 through Logansport.
Among the bridges inherited by the county is the Market Street bridge, with an estimated $6 million replacement cost.
The state has vowed to either replace or repair the bridges going to the county, and the latest talks have included the state offering to replace that bridge, said Cass County Highway Superintendent Jeff Smith.
“The last discussion we had that was, I won’t say set in stone, but it was generally agreed that that bridge would be replaced by INDOT,” Smith said. “That’s what we were left with in our last discussion.”
But Smith said that discussion was a while ago and several personnel changes at the LaPorte district office has stalled some of the conversations.
“We’ve been trying to get some more information out of INDOT on that, and so far we’ve come up empty,” Smith said.
The state and county have until next month to hash out the agreement, state officials have said.
Matt Deitchley, spokesman for the LaPorte district office, said there is no official offer on the table, so he couldn’t elaborate on details of negotiations.
“To my understanding, it looks like the talks are still ongoing,” he said. “Nothing has officially been offered.”
The state is required to maintain ownership of no more than a certain number of miles of roadway. To maintain that number, it relinquishes ownership to local government entities in exchange for the land it needs for various projects. It also gives the local governments a cash payout to assist in the maintenance of the roads, or bridges in this case.
The bridges the county will inherit in the deal are two carrying the current route of Ind. 25 over Goose Creek and Whipperman Ditch, one taking Cicott Street over the Wabash River and the fourth carrying Market Street.
The county, in turn, will relinquish ownership of a bridge on Burlington Avenue south of Biddle Street and the two bridges north and south of Biddle's Island.
Beside the Market Street bridge, the remaining three structure the county would inherit have an estimated repair and replacement cost of about $10 million in the next decade.
In December, the state worked out a land relinquishment deal with the city of Logansport where the city accepted nearly two miles of state road for $3.5 million, which is what it costs the state, over 10 years, to maintain that road.
As for the county relinquishment, the timing of when the Market Street bridge would be closed off for replacement, if the deal goes through, is also something that is up in the air.
“We don’t know the timeline on that,” Smith said, “if it would happen before the rest of it occurs or if they would relinquish with that understanding that the bridge would be done at some point after that.”
• Jason M. Rodriguez is news editor of the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5117 or email@example.com.
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