Federal money available for more county bridge improvments

Just west of Flandreau, 478th Avenue between Highway 32 and Ward Road remains closed as work continues on a new $2.4 million Christensen Bridge across the Big Sioux River. Work being done by Robert R. Schroeder Construction, Inc., a Glenwood, Minnesota-based company, is scheduled to be complete in the coming months. The same company is then scheduled to begin the tear-down of the historic Crescent Street Bridge in Flandreau.

As work continues to rebuild a new Christensen bridge, just to the northeast of Flandreau on Egan Road, five additional bridges are being considered for repairs or replacement.
Highway supervisor Andy Muller this past week approached County Commissioners about $9 million available yet to counties in federal dollars for various improvement projects. Five of the bridges in Moody County would qualify for the grant, based on the repairs needed. The Commissioners approved Muller at least applying to see if any of the Moody County bridges might be selected.
County officials, meanwhile, have already received word that there is $382,461.97 in leftover American Rescue Plan Act funds coming to the county. Muller received word of that in recent weeks. The amount is the sixth highest in the state for any county receiving those funds. Townships will be asked to submit a plan for how they might use the funds for any sort of road improvement project — whether it would be used for bridge repairs, culverts or small structures. The funding, commissioners agreed, would then be divided amongst the townships in the county based on need.
At the courthouse itself, a conversation about improvements turned to what to do about the lawn currently. Commissioner Schiefelbein had been asked to look into the expense and possibility of underground sprinklers given it’s tough for the crew taking care of the grounds using two hoses and sprinklers to keep up with watering needs, especially in such a dry year. Currently, sprinkliers are moved around during the day to keep the lawn watered. The bid received on the installation of an 18-zone underground irrigation system was nearly $11,000. The board decided at this time to instead continue on with the sprinklers when it was appropriate. A decision was also made to allow the grounds to go dormant at this time, instead of trying to keep the grass green while the region waits for rain.
Two large trees damaged in the May 12th storm were recently removed, that is the only area being watered in an effort to get new grass established in that area.
Also heard at the most recent meeting of the county commissioners, a new requirement for anyone using the indoor and outdoor arenas at the Moody County Fairgrounds. Anyone now renting either facility will be required to carry a million dollars in liability insurance, Moody County was reportedly among the only counties not already requiring the policies. A rule was also added that neither facility would allow any boarding of animals.


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