Supervisors approve bids for road repaving
The Jefferson County Board of Supervisors dealt with business with the Secondary Roads Department at today’s regular meeting, approving bids for two anticipated projects — paving/repairing 185th Street and replacing two bridges on Ash Avenue.
Iowa Department of Transportation let and received the actual bids for both projects, but the board of supervisors needed to approve the contractors.
Norris Asphalt of Ottumwa was approved for working on 185th Street.
“Now that the board has approved Norris Asphalt, IDOT has to concur,” said Scott Cline, Jefferson County engineer. “I cannot contact the contractor until IDOT concurs.”
Cline said IDOT allows the work on 185th Street to start as late as September, and the contractor has 20 working days to complete the project.
“I will encourage the contractor to get out there much sooner than September,” said Cline. “I’d like to see it started right after school lets out.”
Taylor Construction Inc. of New Vienna was approved to replace the bridges on Ash Avenue.
“It has a start date of May 27 and 110 days to complete both bridges,” said Cline. “There is a staging requirement on this project. If the contractor is going to work on both bridges at the same time, and both are closed at the same time, it is required to provide a crossing for agricultural equipment south of the southern bridge. If the contractor is going to work on one bridge at a time, it is required to work on the southern bridge first.”
Jefferson County Secondary Roads Department Shop Foreman Chad Lamansky reviewed the department’s request for a new motor grader, comparing John Deere and Caterpillar models.
“This will be purchased in the next fiscal year, 2015,” said supervisor chairman Dick Reed.
Lamansky said dealers representing both Deere and Caterpillar gave presentations to the department and brought a motor grader to Jefferson County for the road crew to drive and evaluate. The machines were left with the crew a few days and the two main operators tried them both.
“Hands-down, the Caterpillar out-performed, for lots of reasons, but especially in hydraulics,” said Lamansky.
Cline said the department will trade-in its current John Deere motor grader on either new one, and even with the trade-in, a new Deere would cost the county $25,000 less than the new Caterpillar.
“But with the fuel savings in two to three years, we’d make up the difference,” said Cline. “The Caterpillar is the better way to go in cost perspective.”
Reed said the supervisors lean on the road crew to evaluate performance of equipment, as they are the ones using it.
“We’d like to give them what they like, but we also consider budget,” said Reed. “I hear they like the Caterpillar and I make a motion to purchase it in fiscal year 2015.”
Supervisors Lee Dimmitt and Becky Schmitz agreed.
Cline said the Caterpillar12M3 motor grader would cost the county $200,945 after the trade-in. It has a first-year full machinery warranty and a 60-month warranty on engine and hydraulics.
In other county road news, Cline said the department has been concrete patching on Libertyville Road, fixing potholes and milling roads.