The city has completed final negotiations for right of way and easements needed to proceed with the Camp Street bridge and street project.

During their meeting last week, city council members approved an ordinance authorizing an agreement to acquire permanent and temporary easements from the Otten family for $8,021.

The city will acquire permanent right of way and utility easements and temporary construction easements from the family.

The agreement calls for an April 1 closing date.

City Engineer Dan Boyce told the council that engineering and design work for the project has been under way and that the easement negotiations did not cause any delays.

The city tentatively plans to seek bids in March and award a construction contract in April or May.

CRD & Associates was awarded a $53,734 contract last fall for design services related to the project.

CRD was the engineering firm that prepared the previous bridge design before the council halted progress on the project in 2008 after strong citizen objections.

Since then, new FEMA floodplain maps have been developed which required revisions to the earlier bridge design.

Last September, the city approved rezoning a 12.4-acre tract on the south side of the creek for future development of duplex housing units in exchange for easements and right of way for the bridge project.

The Otten family wanted the property rezoned in order to build two-family units similar to those on the south side of East Rose Lane, but they have not submitted any definite plans at this point.

Bridge Project

Funds for construction of the new bridge and the extension of Camp Street are allocated in the 2013-14 fiscal year budget.

The budget has $950,000 earmarked for the street and bridge project, including $10,000 for right of way acquisition, $50,000 for design work and $900,000 for construction.

Funding for the project will come from the half-cent transportation sales tax fund.

The city had engineering plans completed and awarded a construction contract, but the city council scuttled the project in 2008 after a heated debate that raged on for months.

The city ended up paying $4,000 to the company awarded the construction contract after the council voted to halt the project.

The city also had negotiated with property owners for right of way and easements, but those were good for only two years and had to be renegotiated.

In 2012, the council voted to reverse the earlier decision and move forward with replacing the old bridge that collapsed several decades ago.

The strong opposition from citizens and some council members has not resurfaced since the project was resurrected.