Although it is not yet a done deal, the Redwood County Board of Commissioners demonstrated a bit of optimism in approving the Redwood County Highway Department five-year plan.

Although it is not yet a done deal, the Redwood County Board of Commissioners demonstrated a bit of optimism in  approving the Redwood County Highway Department five-year plan.
Compiled each year by the highway department, the five year plan outlines the projects which are likely to be accomplished over the years to come based on what potential funding would be available and what projects need do be accomplished in the county.
While there are several projects in the works for 2013, the project on the list which has created the most discussion at county board meetings over the past two years in the historic swayback bridge in Ramsey Park.
After closing the bridge due to deck damage, the process of repairing that bridge began, and for the past several months the process has slowly continued as myriad government entities, including the state historic preservation office and the state transportation department, have gotten involved in the planning of the project ensuring both safety and preservation.
According to Willy Raben-berg, Redwood County engineer, the process has required gaining permits from the DNR, the Army Corps of Engineers, as well as the blessing of the historic preservation department and the transportation department, adding the only way one can obtain bonding dollars to accomplish this project with an estimated $650,000 price tag is to go through the proper hoops.
Once all of the groups involved have given the project the green light, the submitted plans approved officially and the bonding funds secured, the project would be able to be sent out for bids, and Rabenberg is hopeful all of that can be done yet this winter.
While the swayback bridge project has taken up a lot of the highway department’s time, it is not the only project it plans to work on in 2013.

Another project the highway department is going to be working on this year is the CSAH 15 bridge over the Cottonwood River near Sanborn.
Rabenberg said the 235-foot bridge project could start sometime this coming fall with a completion date in Summer 2014 if everything goes according to plan.
The estimated cost of this bridge is just over $1 million, but Rabenberg said the majority of those funds would also come from bonding dollars and state aid funds.
The portion of CSAH 2 south of Morgan to the Brown County border is also scheduled to be under construction in 2013, as that 10 mile stretch is scheduled for a mill and overlay.
Work is also scheduled to continue on CSAH 6 and 106 in Lamberton, and Raben-berg said this is a unique project in the county, as it is the first road that is going to be created using concrete pavement rather than a bituminous surface.
At the time the project was approved, concrete was less expensive, and, according to Rabenberg the significant truck traffic on this portion of roadway makes use of concrete a viable alternative.
That project should start early in the year, said Rabenberg, as it is already under contract.
Based on funding availability, Rabenberg said two or three township bridges could be on the project list in 2013, including one south of Clements and another east of Milroy.
The striping and seal coating which are done each year to help maintain the road system in the county is also part of the 2013 plan. Another bridge on the county radar is the one over the Minnesota at CSAH 101.
Rabenberg agreed 2013 looks to be another busy year for the highway department as it continues to strive to create a safe, efficient transportation system from one end of the county to the other.
Those who would like to see the complete five-year plan list which includes potential projects through 2016, one can stop by the highway department office west of Redwood Falls or in the county administrator’s office.