COLUMBUS, Ind. — A significant step toward replacing one of the longest county-owned bridges in Bartholomew County was approved Monday.
Financial commitment letters were approved from the county that will ensure the federal government that Bartholomew County government will pay 20% of the costs to replace Lowell Bridge, as well as upgrade the intersection of Lowell Road and County Road 325W.
However, the Bartholomew County Commissioners say they don’t expect to receive the federal funds until 2027.
Monday’s vote to make the financial commitment places county government in the same position they were in back in late 2018. But the project was put on hold when the county suddenly had to make quick improvements along County Road 325W from behind the Westhill Shopping Center to the Lowell Bridge – and along Lowell Road, from the bridge north to U.S. 31.
In essence, the county used rural roads to create a functional bypass for traffic between National Road and Jonathan Moore Pike. The upgrades became necessary when approval was made for the new overpass at the junction of State Road 11 and State Road 46.
Construction on the current Lowell Bridge began on Jan. 8, 1959 and was completed on Dec. 21, 1959, with the price tag at $186,212.
In contrast, “we’re looking at a $8 million to $9 million project,” to replace the bridge, Kleinhenz said.
For the complete story, see Tuesday’s Republic.