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Bourbon County Bridges - KOAM TV 7

Bourbon County Bridges

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Bourbon County, KS -

Bourbon County, Kansas has two bridges that state inspectors have deemed fractured critical. That means they're still operational, but will eventually have to be replaced.

"It's our intent to keep roads open that we can. Of course, every county goes through how much money they have to spend on a budget without raising mill levies, and that's our goal. It's to come up a plan without increasing tax revenue," said Bourbon County Commissioner Lynne Oharah.

The two bridges in question include the one that passes over train tracks at 215th & Valley, and one can be found on 250th, south of Cavalry. It's key for farmers in the area who need to get to the highway. Replacing each bridge is estimated to cost a million dollars, and solutions are limited.

"We do not want to have to put it on a ballot, because you're looking at one bridge in one location, and the amount of traffic going over it doesn't coincide with all the population in Bourbon County," said Commissioner Oharah.

Bourbon County commissioners will be looking at how money in the county's Bridge and Culvert Fund is used, although they admit upfront that completely depleting that fund on any one project, could put the county in a rough spot. They'll also consider looking at the county's 1 cent sales tax, which generates about a million dollars a year, typically for hard surface road repairs.

And the bridge crossing the train tracks, might be phased out all together.

"We can build an on grade crossing at the railroad tracks and abandon that bridge and eventually tear it down, of course, and really not affect the flow of traffic," said Bourbon County Public Works Director Jim Harris.
 

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