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Fenton Approves $4,400 for Bridge Inspections

The condition of the Silver Lake Road bridge is a concern.

When Minneapolis' Interstate 35W bridge collapsed in August 2007, the condition of bridges became a hot issue. Bridge inspections are being enforced to a greater extent, said Fenton Department of Public Works Director Daniel Czarnecki.

This year, Fenton has six bridges that must be inspected. City council has approved $4,400 for Livonia, the city engineering firm, to provide the bridge inspections that the (MDOT) is requiring.

Fenton owns six bridges, all of which go over the Shiawassee River, Czarnecki said. MDOT requires bridge inspections in Fenton every two years, except for the bridge over Silver Lake Road. This must be inspected yearly because of issues with its condition.

The state can hold back transportation funding if Fenton doesn't comply with the inspections, Czarnecki said.

City officials have been aware of this for awhile and have budgeted for the inspections, Mayor Sue Osborn said. She believes the inspections are worthwhile, especially for the Silver Lake Road bridge.

Inspections will not include load testing or load ratings for the Silver Lake Road bridge, Czarnecki said. This would be separate, and MDOT isn't requiring it. But Fenton will probably need to have this done within the next two-year cycle.

Councilman Tim Faricy said city officials discovered the condition of the Silver Lake Road bridge when workers dug out the road for a construction project. He asked whether Fenton can do anything to help position itself to receive federal funding to address the bridge.

Czarnecki said inspecting it is the first step. Federal funding can help with bridges, when a bridge meets certain criteria.

In recent years, there were around 34 other bridges above the Silver Lake Road one on the priority list. Fenton needs to have the bridge reinspected and keep moving up the ladder, Osborn said.

"We weren't high enough on the list," she said.

In addition, Fenton City Council approved funds not to exceed $16,000, for emergency repairs at the water plant. A lightning strike on July 28 caused some damage, and the city needs to purchase and install the power source and pump drive for two high service pumps at the plant. The work will be covered by insurance and the city will receive its money back, Czarnecki said.

The $16,000 quote is from Murphy Electric, of Fenton. Once the parts on the two pumps are replaced, workers will be able to determine if there are further damages to the pumps from the lightning strike, he said.

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