The McPherson County Commission discussed Tuesday the replacement of two truss bridges that are reaching a risk of failing.
A truss bridge is defined by dictionary.com as a structure “based on the geometric rigidity of the triangle.”
Tom Kramer, McPherson County Public Works director, said such bridges are considered “fracture-critical structures,” which means that if too much tension is applied to joints in the structure over time, and certain pieces fail, the whole bridge can collapse.
In McPherson County, two such bridges are slowly reaching that risk, and public works wants to replace them.
The McPherson County Commission agreed on Tuesday to allow public works to acquire the bids necessary to determine the cost of replacing the two bridges, which are on 16th Avenue between Chisholm and Cheyenne Road, and 21st Avenue between Quivera and Rainbow Road.
Public works hopes to replace the bridges with reinforced concrete boxes.
Kramer said the bridges are not in any risk of collapsing right now, but they hope to replace the bridges before more damage can be done.
In other business:
• Public works also announced the removal of trees near the roads of Shawnee, between 14th and Eighth Avenue, near South Galva at 22nd Avenue and Iron Horse Road and at 27th Avenue between Rainbow and Shawnee Roads. The projects are funded by a KDOT grant to improve the safety of the roads. Kramer said most McPherson County accidents are deer strikes, and trees next to the roads can obscure vision.
• Commissioners also approved a request by public works for the purchase of street sign blanks. The bid approved was for Barco Municipal Products, which was valued at $5,830.
• Commissioners also approved a request by public works for the purchase of some 2x2 metal sign posts. The total approved budget was $14,837.