Cerro Gordo County looking to plan bridge projects

MASON CITY — The Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors for now have tabled a proposal with WHKS in Mason City on an infrastructure design contract that would address up to six bridges in the county that should be replaced in the near future.

County Engineer Brandon Billings says with the possible infrastructure bill going through Congress, it would be good for the county to plan ahead and have projects ready to go when funding becomes available.  “A lot of times they are allocated through the normal distribution factors. Sometimes extra money is available to people who have shovel-ready projects.  So I think it would be in the county’s interest to get five or six bridges on the shelf ready to go for when the funding arrives we can hit the ground running and take advantage of everything we are given, plus maybe some extra that we may normally wouldn’t have gotten.”

WHKS president Fouad Daoud says even if some of the county’s proposed projects don’t get funded through a federal infrastructure package, the county would still be able to use the plans in the future.  “It would be a complete set of plans with all the permitting being done and the plans will be ready to let. If there’s money available or if you receive any kind of grants or whatever, the plans will be ready to let. That’s why we worked with Brandon, we gave him a map with multiple structures, we kind of narrowed it down to these structures.”

If all the bridge projects were done, the engineer’s estimated cost of them all would total $7 million. The supervisors were favorable to the contract with WHKS, but tabled the proposal until next Tuesday’s meeting to go through the information presented.