Jack Brinker, Street Superintendent

The Washington Street Department is going to try something new to finish up the South Point Bridge repair project.

Jack Brinker, Washington street superintendent, told the council during Monday’s administration/operations meeting that the bridge is nearly complete.

The only thing left to do is fix a concrete slab on the north side.

“The slab needs to be jacked up,” Brinker said.

Instead of replacing the slab, Brinker wants to pump it full of concrete to prop it up.

After contacting three vendors, Brinker said only one agreed to do the project. He said the East St. Louis-based Helitech agreed to try and fix the slab.

Helitech would charge a one-time set up fee of $3,500 if it could finish the project in one day. Helitech would charge $8 per pound of concrete pumped into the slab.

Brinker said the concrete would be a plastic-type of concrete.

The Helitech trucks have a digital display that tracks just how much material is pumped out so it would be an accurate reading.

Brinker said he sought the council’s advice because the price could go high depending on the amount of concrete needed to fix the slab.

Helitech said the amount of the concrete used would depend on the severity of the problem. Brinker said it could, in theory, take 1,000 pounds of concrete which would cost $8,000.

An advantage to fixing the slab with Helitech is the road doesn’t have to be shut down for an extended period of time.

“You don’t have to shut down the road, you can drive over it right away,” Brinker said.

While the cost of the project is unknown, the council agreed it was worth looking into the Helitech solution.

“Even if it costs $8,000 or $9,000, it’s still way cheaper than replacing the whole slab,” Councilman Joe Holtmeier said.

The council approved Brinker’s request and gave him permission to hire Helitech.

Brinker said Helitech could start as soon as May 12.