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Kandiyohi Co. OKs contract for construction of new bridge for Park 2

WILLMAR — Large vehicles should have clear access to Kandiyohi County Park 2 by early spring, according to a contract approved Tuesday by the County Board.

The old timber frame bridge crosses Judicial Ditch 1 and provides the only vehicle access to County Park 2 on the northeastern shore of Big Kandiyohi Lake near Lake Lillian.

Kandiyohi County commissioners voted to award the bridge contract to M & K Bridge Construction of Walnut Grove.

M & K’s bid of $78,247 was less than the original estimate of $94,831. The three other bids the county received each topped $100,000. The completion date in the contract is March 27. Funding for the bridge will come from park reserves, said County Administrator Larry Kleindl.

“The reason that bid is as good as it is, is we allowed the use of used steel,” said Public Works Director Gary Danielson.

M & K intends to include used steel in the new bridge, he said. The used steel will undergo inspection before it is used, he added.

The old bridge has deteriorated, Danielson said, something that’s an issue with similar bridges across the state.

An inspection last fall had indicated that the bridge’s condition was badly deteriorated and resulted in a reduction in the load rating from 18 tons to 3 tons. That left the bridge out of bounds to large recreational vehicles as well as to service vehicles like garbage trucks.

Old pilings will be left in place, because they hold the wing walls at the sides of the ditch. New pilings will be driven next to the old ones and will support the new bridge deck, Danielson said.

The new bridge will be 26 feet long and 8 feet wide, the same size as the existing one, he said.

In other business Tuesday, the commissioners delayed action on a proposal to remove time limits from conditional use permits for gravel pits. Currently, gravel pit permits are the only conditional use permits issued for a limited amount of time. Permits are limited to 10 years for gravel operations smaller than 40 acres and 30 years for pits larger than 40 acres.

The board also approved an agreement with the city of Willmar to treat leachate from the county landfill. The leachate is treated at a rate of $32.38 per 1,000 gallons, up from $32 in the previous agreement. In 2013, the county hauled 3.4 million gallons of leachate to Willmar for treatment. The leachate is liquid that leaches through the garbage in the landfill. The state requires that it be collected and treated.

The board also heard a proposal from a company that has developed a method of treating leachate on site that could save money in the future, as the county would no longer have to haul the liquid to the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Commissioners said they were interested in the process but made no decisions on using the method.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

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