Mayor Jernigan talks response from highway department concerning bridges

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Lepanto Mayor Steve Jernigan told the city council Monday night he receives complaints about the condition of two bridges in town every day. He sent a letter to the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department about the Highway 140 bridges that cross the Little River and shared the response he received.

According to the highway department letter from Brad Smithee, District Construction Engineer, the bridges were built in 1948 and have been patched many times due to the deterioration of the sliding plate joints. Smithee said the weather this winter has contributed to the deterioration of bridges and roads in the area, and the patching is not meant to be a permanent repair.

However, Smithee said the bridges' have suffiency ratings of 59.1 and 70.4 on a scale of 0-100, and only bridges under 50 are considered for replacement funds.

"I don't know what else to do," Mayor Jernigan said. "It's continuous. Daily, I get complaints about it."

In other business, the council received a couple updates. Mayor Jernigan said Vaughn Engineering has been out around town and are moving forward with blueprints for the new water system. He said he's hoping replacement of the water lines will start June 1. Replacing the water lines should take a year to complete.

City Attorney Noyl Houston updated the council on the lawsuit with Jancour over the ballpark. He said they had agreed to reschedule remediation for next month.

The council considered a resolution to condemn the property at 100 Burton St. which burned two years ago. Houston recommended postponing the condemnation by a month to make sure the property owner has been notified of the correct date the coucnil will consider the matter. Mayor Jernigan said the son of the property owner wants to sell the property, and they are trying to work it out without a condemnation.

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