PALMYRA, Mo. -- Progress is being made on efforts to build a new bridge over the North Fabius River near Taylor.
Bleigh Construction Co. of Hannibal, which was awarded the $884,083 contract in June, recently took down the old bridge along County Road 313 and hauled away the steel structure in pieces.
Then last week the contractor spent time removing the old concrete bridge abutments in preparation for installing new reinforced abutments, which will support the ends of the new bridge.
"It was a chore," Teya Stice, Marion County's land-use and capital-improvements coordinator, told the Marion County Commission on Monday.
"It had a lot more rebar in it than they thought it would," she said.
Once the abutments were out of the way, the construction crew started finishing other aspects of the demolition before they can start building the new bridge, which is expected to be finished by the end of December, barring any weather-related delays.
The old Taylor bridge was shut down in November 2017 after an inspection by the Missouri Department of Transportation showed severe rust and deterioration had occurred throughout the structure, built in 1929. The inspector said the bridge could no longer safely hold the weight of a car and urged that it be taken out of service immediately.
Commissioners sought to push ahead quickly with bridge-replacement plans because the river crossing at Taylor was used frequently by local farmers to move heavy machinery and farm equipment safely.
In other action at Monday's meeting, Stice gave an update on a proposal to draft an ordinance imposing tighter restrictions on utility companies that want to use county right-of-way for construction projects.
At the commission's request, Stice did some research on the issue by contacting the county's attorney, who advised her that an existing state law already "covers this issue."
"He said companies basically have to have county commission approval to install utilities," Stice said. "We can't prohibit them from installing them on our right-of-way, but we can negotiate with them to make sure that they put the road back the way it was or improve the road" once the construction project is finished.
Western District Commissioner Steve Begley nonetheless asked Stice to craft a proposed ordinance based on one adopted in Phelps County that would bar companies from placing utility lines on county right-of-way and would establish local rules that have to be followed
"Let's see if we can kind of mirror that and adopt it," Begley said.
The commission reviewed a report from County Clerk Valerie Dornberger showing that the county's sales tax receipts in August totaled $166,824, which was up about 7% from the same month last year.
Dornberger said the county's capital improvements sales tax and road tax revenues also were higher in August.