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Putz chosen to replace Mary St. low-water bridge

File photo

After two vehicles were swept off the Mary Street low-water bridge by a flooded Hubble Creek less than one year apart, the Jackson Mayor and Board of Aldermen decided to do something about it.

On July 5, the Board of Aldermen accepted the low bid of Putz Construction of Millersville to replace the low-water bridge with a standard bridge.

“The price submitted by Putz Construction, LLC was $1,643,870.58, which was 4.6% above the engineer’s estimate for the project,” wrote Michael Spalding, senior project manager for Cochran Engineering. “Industry wide, current bid results are indicating a large increase in construction costs due to higher material costs, increased labor costs, labor shortages, increased fuel costs and higher than normal inflation. Recently, these increases have resulted in costs approximately 25-35% high-er than normal, so we believe the bids in this case were competitive. From past experiences, we do not believe rebidding the project will result in lower unit prices.”

The new bridge will be taller and wider. It will include a sidewalk for pedestrians and will be connected to sidewalks on both ends of the bridge.

Putz Construction also received the contract to replace the low-water bridge in the middle of City Park known as Hubble ford. When work is completed on that bridge later this month, the company will begin work on the Mary Street bridge.

In other action

• Meeting date change: The regular meeting and study session for the Mayor and Board of Aldermen was moved from Monday, Sept. 5, to Tuesday, Sept. 6, in observance of Labor Day.

• Storm sewer: The boardapproved a $1,023 increase in expenditure to HR Green of Chesterfield for additional engineering services under the Separate Storm Sewer System Permit (MS4) program.

• Fire Station No. 1: The Board approved paying Strickland Engineering of Jackson $7,500 for engineering services under the Fire Department Facilities Evaluation.

Strickland will provide a professional opinion on the following:

  1. Structural condition of the existing buildings at 503 and 525 S. Hope St.
  2. Evaluation of existing HVAC systems.
  3. Evaluation of building water and plumbing systems.
  4. Evaluation of communication systems.

A written report on the findings will be provided to the City.

• Brush removal: The board approved a change order in the amount of $10,000 to Steve’s Hauling & Excavating of Millersville for the disposal of stockpiled brush. The original bid was awarded over the winter months, and additional brush has been stockpiled since then.

• Paving roads: The board approved a memorandum of understanding with the County of Cape Girardeau regarding asphalt paving. The City will pave North Farmington Road and North Oak Hill Road, parts of which are in the county, at no charge to the County. The County recently paved Harmony Lane, parts of which are in the City, at no charge to the City.

The aldermen accepted the bid of Paving Pros, LLC, of Oak Ridge in the amount of $346,960.80 for the 2022 Asphalt Pavement Improvement Program and authorized a contract.

• Bridge replacement: The aldermen approved a resolution supporting a Missouri Regional Bridge Program grant application to MoDOT to replace the Sunset Drive bridge over Hubble Creek.

• Minor plats: The aldermen approved two minor plats. The first was a resub-division of lots 9 and 10 and block 4 of West End Addition in the Magnolia Meadows Subdivision, as submitted by Terry R. Seabaugh and Traci L. Foltz. The second was a resubdivision of lots 28 and 30 of Deerwood Subdivision as submitted by Gregory and Alison Staggs.

• Employee health insurance: Todd Obergoenner of Swinford and Associates, Inc., gave the Board of Aldermen a mid-year report on city health insurance. At this point in the year, the City is running 31% below expected claims and 45% below the maximum. “We are trending in the right direction,” he said.

• On street use of ATVs, UTVs and golf carts: During study session, City Attorney Curtis Poore went over the city ordinance regarding ATVs, UTVs and golf carts on city streets. ATVs and golf carts are currently prohibited. However, UTVs are not prohibited and are therefore legal but must follow state law (see CBJ, June 26, p. 1B).

The aldermen showed a hesitancy to approve golf carts for use on city streets. Golf carts generally don’t go faster than 20 mph and would back up traffic, said David Hitt, who opposed them. Katy Liley agreed.

“I’m not in favor of any of them,” said David Reiminger. He felt allowing these vehicles on city streets increased the chances of having traffic fatalities.

Joe Bob Baker said he thought a UTV was safer than a motorcycle in a crash. There is more protection around the driver and passenger and a roll bar overhead.

Some of the aldermen indicated they would be okay with UTVs on city streets if they had safety equipment such as head lights, tail lights, seat belts and turn signals.

JPD Chief James Hum-phreys said he did not want to get into the business of inspecting UTVs to make sure they were compliant with the city ordinance before they could go on the street. He would rather handle it as cars and trucks are handled; if a vehicle is stopped for any reason, then tickets are issued for safety violations.

He added that ATVs and UTVs were made to be used off-road and most accidents with them occur on roads. “They belong off the road,” he said. “The No. 1 concern of our citizens is traffic safety,” he added.

City staff will provide the aldermen ordinances from nearby cities that allow ATVs, UTVs or golf carts on their streets, such as Sikeston, Perryville and Ste. Gene-vieve, to see what can be gleaned from them as the Jackson aldermen consider beefing up restrictions on UTVs.

• Wastewater bond issue: The mayor updated the aldermen on how information is being distributed for the wastewater bond issue request the City will have on the Aug. 2 ballot.

• Savers Farm Subdivision: Savers Farm Subdivision sits just outside Jackson City Limits north of the Bent Creek Subdivision. It has plans to expand inside city limits into a landlocked area that has no city roads leading to it. The City is working with the developer to provide water, sewer, police, fire and trash service to the portion of the subdivision that will be developed within city limits. A formal agreement is expected to come to the aldermen in August for their approval.

• Retaining walls: Two residents asked to build a retaining wall on the right of way to their properties at 300 and 320 E. Jefferson Street.

One wall will replace an old railroad tie retaining wall that needs to be replaced beside a driveway. The other would join that wall and run parallel to Jefferson Street along a neighbor’s property.

Staff recommended that all retaining walls be constructed on the property line, out of the right of way.

The property owner seeking a wall parallel to the street said it would be cost prohibitive to move the proposed wall back to the property line and dropped plans to build one there.

Because of the hill behind it goes into the right of way, the railroad tie wall needs to run into the right of way. It will be replaced by a block wall. Blocks could be removed from the right of way if the City needed to do utility work. The City will draft a memorandum of understanding to allow this retaining wall to go into the right of way with the understanding that the city could remove part if it needs access to the right of way.

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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