VIENNA — The Maries County commissioners received a letter at their June 1 meeting from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) giving them the notice to proceed with the replacement …
VIENNA — The Maries County commissioners received a letter at their June 1 meeting from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) giving them the notice to proceed with the replacement of the bridge on Maries Road 213 over Fly Creek.
In April 2022, Great River Engineering completed a study of the current bridge as part of the Bridge Engineering Assistance Program (BEAP) through MoDOT. According to MoDOT, the BEAP is a way for local public agencies to get some limited engineering help to deal with emergency-type issues that they may encounter on their bridges.
After reviewing requests for qualifications packets from three firms, in February the commissioners selected MECO Engineering as the company to complete the bridge. In May, the commissioners signed the engineering contract with MECO Engineering for work on the bridge.
The project still has a few steps to complete before construction can begin. The commissioners have up to 60 days after they received the letter to submit a request for environmental review, which the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1970 requires federal agencies to consider cultural, environmental and social impacts when making decisions related to the permitting and funding of construction projects. MoDOT projects must maintain NEPA compliance because the Federal Highway Administration contributes funding to some local projects.
Another upcoming step is the acquisition of property rights from landowners whose property is adjacent to the construction site and may be needed during the process. Sept. 1 is the deadline for plans to acquire property rights.
Also at the meeting, the commissioners accepted a bid from Centertown-based company Precision Sealcoating Services LLC to work on two county roads. Precision Sealcoating Services LLC is a Woman Business Enterprise, which the Missouri Office of Equal Opportunity defines as a business that is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by a woman.
The bid includes cleaning and prepping pavement surfaces, filling long singular cracks with a hot joint compound and applying coal tar-based sealant to the road. The project will sealcoat approximately 1.6 miles of roadway on Maries Road 325. It will also sealcoat and crack-fill approximately 5.2 miles of roadway on Maries Road 340. The company will coordinate openings to driveways, roads and other accommodations for residents.
The county will spend about $114,000 on the road work.
Over the last several weeks, the commissioners have discussed the lack of rain in the area.
“I’ve been farming since 1977, and I’ve never cut hay anywhere near as bad as this,” Presiding Commissioner Victor Stratman said.
According to data the National Weather Service released on June 1, Maries County has been right on the line between a D0 drought (abnormally dry) in the southern half of the county and a D1 drought (moderate drought) in the northern half of the county. Parts of neighboring Gasconade, Miller and Osage counties are experiencing a D2 drought (severe drought). Two parts of the state, northwest around Cooper and Pettis counties and north around Knox and Scotland counties, are experiencing D3 droughts (extreme drought). The maximum on the scale is a D4 drought, which is an exceptional drought.
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