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Conover Bridge Project Cost Expected to be Higher than Original Estimates

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A cost overrun is expected for the Highway K bridge over the Wisconsin River in Conover due to reclassifying the road with updated traffic counts according to a report to the highway committee last week by Vilas County highway commissioner Troy Schalinske.

“The original construction cost provided $1,144,805 that included in-kind bridge replacement and approach work with a temporary bypass for traffic control during construction,” Schalinske said. “There were elements that caused an increase that were not known at the time of estimation.”

One main element was updated traffic counts and projections which increased the road classification that caused the clear bridge width to be widened by two feet.

“When the state reviewed the bridge plans and documents concern was expressed over the cost of a temporary bypass road and bridge verses staged bridge construction. They determined staged construction was more appropriate and the bridge was widened to accommodate staged construction,” he reported.

Widening the bridge eliminated the need for a bypass and temporary bridge but the staged construction increased the cost as compared to the original replacement estimate. Construction contract is expected to be let in early May,

Schalinske indicated the Highway K from Highway 45 to East Buckatabon road scheduled for this summer will be delayed due to the cost increase for the bridge. Work has started on the Highway N bridge design.

Other action

In other action the committee approved sending a resolution to the full county board to convey a small piece of Highway B right-of-way in Presque Isle to the town involving just over two acres for boat access improvements.

Also approved was purchase of a Tiger boom mower costing $71,329 after reviewing two quotes and inspecting different mowers. Asked about verbal quotes verses sealed bids, Vilas County corporation counsel Jack Albert said “purchase of equipment is exempt” from bids. Vilas County has a policy of requesting bids when the price exceeds $25,000.

The committee approved hiring four limited term employees from May 1 to Sept. 1 at $12.00 per hour. The application is expected to be on the Human Resources web page.

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