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Aldermen encouraged to create 10-year bridge plan

There are 15 road bridges in the City of Jackson — most of them spanning Hubble Creek and Goose Creek. So far, they are safe. But to keep them that the way, it was recommended to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen to develop a 10-year plan for preventative maintenance and eventual replacement.

“Your bridges are in full compliance,” stated Bill Robinson of Smith & Co. Engineers. “Your bridges are fine. They are all safe and well-maintained.”

However, they are being used. An estimated 15,000 vehicles a day drive over the bridges. If those bridges needed to be replaced today, it would cost about $7 million. That’s what they’re worth. It behooves the City to take care of this valuable property.

Many of the bridges show minor cracking and damage from salt and moisture. This minor damage doesn’t make the bridges unsafe, but unless repairs are made, the bridges will continue to deteriorate and will not last their typical 50-year life span.

Being proactive and taking care of minor things systematically will save a tremendous amount of money down the road, said Robinson.

Only one of Jackson’s bridges was rated in “poor condition”: Sunset Drive over Hubble Creek. It has some vertical cracking and exposed rebar underneath.

By creating a 10-year plan, the City can extend the life of its bridges and save money. The City can start assigning dollars for the future replacement, rehabilitation, preventative maintenance and scheduled maintenance of the bridges.

The bridges should last about 50 years. They won’t make it that long if they are not properly maintained and repaired when needed. “The more you take care of them now, the more you are going to get to the 50-year window.” Robinson said.

In other action

• Training classes: The City of Jackson will be the host agency for a regional grant to train members of the Jackson, Cape Girardeau, and Sikeston Technical Rescue Team. Jackson was awarded a federal grant that will reimburse 90 percent of the overall cost of this project.

The Board accepted the low-bid proposal of Trident Rescue of Estero, FL, in the amount of $21,600 and authorized the purchase of two training classes under the NFPA 1006 Training Services Program.

The Board also accepted a proposal of the University of Missouri – Columbia in the amount of $62,900 to provide four training classes under the NFPA 1006 Training Service Program, and authorized a contract.

• Fee increases: The Board approved the updated fee schedule for the Jackson Swimming Pool for 2020. The $3 entry fee for ages 5 and older Monday-Saturday increases to $4. The Sunday fee for 5 and older remains at $1.50. Age 4 and under are still free. The basic swim lesson fee will increase from $20 to $25. Opening day is Saturday, May 23, 2020.

Residential trash collection fees will increase from $6 to $10 a month starting Jan. 1, 2020. An approved change in a city ordinance allows the Board to set the rate for 2020. Rates for the following years will be adjusted each year in accordance with the consumer price index.

• Recycling, trash bins: Jackson resident Jacob Alsup brought to the Board his desire to see curbside recycling and trash bins that would keep animals out of the trash. Currently, residents place full trash bags at the curb for pickup.

City Administrator Jim Roach explained that the City attempted this past year to pass a use tax that would have provided for curbside recycling, but that measure was defeated by voters. In addition, the market for recycled materials “has gone away,” he added.

The City could provide residents with trash cans as the City of Cape Girardeau does for its residents, but that would cause trash collection fees to increase, perhaps to $20 or more, he said.

• Asphalt: The Board approved a change order in the amount of $76,238.75 to Jokerst, Inc. of Ste Genevieve for its work on the 2019 Asphalt Pavement Rehabilitation Project. This project addressed two separate areas, both along Greensferry Road.

• Plat approval: The Board approved the plat of Haynes Estates Third Subdivision as submitted by Michael K. and Linda J. Haynes.

• Ethylene Oxide: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave a presentation on emissions of ethylene oxide in Jackson. See related story in this issue.

• Police station update: The Board was updated on the construction progress of the new police station. In spite of being 21 days behind schedule at one time because of weather, it is expected to be completed on time by May 28, 2020.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

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