Franklin County Commission

The Bend Road bridge near Pacific may be reopened around March 1.

The Franklin County Commission awarded a contract for bridge repairs to the lowest of two bidders Tuesday.

R.V. Wagner Inc. of St. Louis was awarded the contract for $17,317.

The other bid was for $28,500, and it was from St. Louis Bridge Construction Company of Arnold.

In addition to the construction costs for the project, there is also $3,000 in engineering fees from Horner & Shifrin of St. Louis.

That will bring the total project cost to $20,317.

County commissioners recently approved a cooperative agreement with the city of Pacific to split the project costs 50/50.

County Highway Administrator Joe Feldmann said the Missouri Department of Transportation will inspect the bridge once the repairs are made.

Once that inspection is completed, the bridge can be reopened to motorists.

Officials have said they will set a 12-ton load rating on the bridge, which could accommodate passenger cars and trucks, ambulances and possibly some smaller school buses.

The price to repair the bridge came in less than the $35,500 that officials thought it may cost.

Feldmann said the repairs will include replacing an eyebar and replacing some concrete on piers.

County officials say they closed the bridge in November due to safety and liability concerns.

The closure of the bridge has reportedly been an inconvenience for people who now have to travel an alternate route. Motorists also faced increased fuel costs brought on by the detour, according to Pacific Alderman Steve Myers.

Meanwhile, county officials are trying to get federal funding to construct a new bridge.