County Commissioner takes DOT district secretary to task

Published: Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 06:07 PM.

“I know this isn’t our local DOT, but these orders to use these consultants come from higher up,” Brock said.

“You are correct, on the smaller projects, sometimes the design fees take a larger percentage,” Peters said. “Even if it is a smaller project, you still have to do all the engineering, site surveying and permitting as any other project.”

“If we don’t use this money, it’s not going to get done,” said Commissioner Joel Pate. The bridge replacement program operates on federal funds, Peters said, and is awarded to projects in which bridges have scored high in their bi-annual inspections — which means the bridge has problems and needs fixed. The Gainer Road bridge ranked a 63, and a score of 50 means a bridge needs to be replaced, Peters said.

 “I would love to have those bridges replaced, just for the drainage issues,” said Dallas Carter, Public Works supervisor for the county.

Peters said the DOT looks “very closely” at construction costs when it comes to bridge projects.

“I know this is coming from Tallahassee, but I would like to see the guidelines changed where any certified engineering firm can bid on these projects,” Brock said.

“We have a saying, ‘A hole in a road will get you in trouble, but a hole in a bridge will get you fired,’” Peters said. “If an engineering firm doesn’t have that bridge expertise, we’re not going to want to use them.”

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