Husky Trail ‘Bridge’ Project To Cost More Than Expected

May 21, 2024 at 8:31 p.m.

By JACKIE GORSKI Lifestyles Editor

The bridge #9 project is going to cost the Kosciusko County Highway Department almost $350,000 more than expected.
Superintendent Steve Moriarty told the Kosciusko County Commissioners Tuesday that the project on Husky Trail has been ongoing since 2013.
“Overall, we’ve had five different bids that have came in throughout those years. Finally, we went for federal funding and got funding for that,” he said. “Very recently, we got another bid, on May 9th of this year, for construction. It was significantly over bid. INDOT (Indiana Department of Transportation) has agreed to participate 80/20, even in the overage. So the increase in pay for that bridge for total construction would be just shy of $350,000 additional.”
He said the highway department has the money in its cumulative bridge fund to cover the additional cost.
“But looking at the inflation of everything that’s going on currently throughout these last few years, to us, and checking with our engineers, this seems like an adequate price to get this bridge built and to move forward on this project,” Moriarty said, asking the commissioners for their approval of the additional expenditure.
In making the motion to approve Moriarty’s request, Commissioner Cary Groninger said they had been looking for a contract and dollar figure that they were satisfied with.
“I know INDOT really stepped up to the plate and is paying for 80% of this additional overage. For us to go back and redesign it at this point would cost the county more than the $350,000 that we’re having to pony up here, as well as we’d have to reapply to INDOT. It would be quite a process,” he stated.
His motion was unanimously approved.
After the meeting, Moriarty said the total cost for the bridge for the Kosciusko County Highway Department will be $798,888.04, which includes the additional $350,000 approved by the commissioners. INDOT will pay the remaining 80% of the project cost, which is around $3.9 million.
“What it is, is it’s a bridge, but it’s actually a small structure to be honest because there’s three culverts. If three culverts equal more than a 20-foot span, they consider it a bridge, even though it’s culverts,” Moriarty explained. “So when they take out those three culverts, they’re going to put one in multiple span. So it’s actually not going to be a bridge, it’s going to be an arch structure underneath with the earth on top of it.”
Moriarty also presented the 2024 road program, which the commissioners approved. It includes 92 miles of chip and seal, 26 miles of paving and 3.8 miles of microsealing, which is about similar to the 2023 road program.
In other business, the commissioners approved:
• A request from Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) interim Co-director Suzie Light that the Abonmarche project contract for the CR 1300N area be approved with the balance of the encumbered 2023 special projects funds totaling $33,618.75 to be used toward the project.
The project, otherwise known as the CR 1300N steering project, is a study with various stakeholders between Milford and Syracuse looking at the best possible land use in that area.
Commissioner Brad Jackson said the funds have already been allocated for KEDCO, but KEDCO has to ask each time they want to spend some of the funding.
In the future, KEDCO will return before the commissioners to request 2024 funds to help finish out the project.
County Councilwoman Joni Truex said, “They will be requesting the 2024 funds, less the Van Buren TIF, which the Redevelopment Commission is allocating 30% of the cost of this project to that study.”
• The Kosciusko Area Bus Service (KABS) Section 5311 Rural Transit first quarter claim and an invoice for two new vehicles from the 2024 5339 Capital Grant request, as presented by Kristin Rude, KABS general manager.
On the claim, she said KABS’ first quarter expenses totaled $209,330. The federal operating funds covered $104,665 of that request, while the state operating match covered $52,332. The remaining $52,333 is covered by the applied local match.
KABS also was awarded a Capital Grant through the 5339 funds for two 2025 Ford E450 50-passenger buses. The price per bus is $121,954, for a total of $241,908. The federal match on those is 80%, and the remaining 20% will be covered through the applied local match, she said. The buses are being purchased through Midwest Transit Equipment.
• Emergency Management Agency Director Kip Shuter’s request to apply for a $132,432 2024 State Homeland Security Grant to get fiber out to the highway department where the county’s disaster recovery site will be for its computer systems.
• A joint resolution with Elkhart County for the donation of a K9 dog, Corsa, from the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department to the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office, as presented by county attorney Ed Ormsby. Corsa is already in service in Kosciusko County.
Kosciusko Sheriff Jim Smith said Elkhart Sheriff Jeff Siegel had reached out several months ago to him. Corsa’s handler got promoted to the detective bureau and that wouldn’t allow him to take Corsa with him, and there was no interest from any other Elkhart officer to be a handler.
Rather than trying to sell the K9 and make money, Smith said Siegel called him to see if Kosciusko had an interest in Corsa.
“It turned out that it was perfect timing for us. We have one that’s probably due to retire, maybe at the end of this year, due to health and arthritis, a lot of years. And we had another vehicle that was equipped and ready for it, so very minimal expense on our end,” Smith said, and the budget will support Corsa.
Deputy Elizabeth Johnson will be Corsa’s handler for KCSO. Smith said the two have bonded and have gone to proper training and all is well.
• A temporary and permanent easement that the county is giving to NIPSCO to allow NIPSCO to maintain and repair some utility lines that are running by the Kosciusko County Highway Department, as presented by Ormsby.
• To uphold the Area Plan Commission’s 7-0 decision denying a vacation request from Albert Deckys an alleyway along his property in Atwood. There were remonstrators to the petition. Area Plan Assistant Director Andrew Heltzel presented the request, with attorney Steve Snyder representing the petitioner.

The bridge #9 project is going to cost the Kosciusko County Highway Department almost $350,000 more than expected.
Superintendent Steve Moriarty told the Kosciusko County Commissioners Tuesday that the project on Husky Trail has been ongoing since 2013.
“Overall, we’ve had five different bids that have came in throughout those years. Finally, we went for federal funding and got funding for that,” he said. “Very recently, we got another bid, on May 9th of this year, for construction. It was significantly over bid. INDOT (Indiana Department of Transportation) has agreed to participate 80/20, even in the overage. So the increase in pay for that bridge for total construction would be just shy of $350,000 additional.”
He said the highway department has the money in its cumulative bridge fund to cover the additional cost.
“But looking at the inflation of everything that’s going on currently throughout these last few years, to us, and checking with our engineers, this seems like an adequate price to get this bridge built and to move forward on this project,” Moriarty said, asking the commissioners for their approval of the additional expenditure.
In making the motion to approve Moriarty’s request, Commissioner Cary Groninger said they had been looking for a contract and dollar figure that they were satisfied with.
“I know INDOT really stepped up to the plate and is paying for 80% of this additional overage. For us to go back and redesign it at this point would cost the county more than the $350,000 that we’re having to pony up here, as well as we’d have to reapply to INDOT. It would be quite a process,” he stated.
His motion was unanimously approved.
After the meeting, Moriarty said the total cost for the bridge for the Kosciusko County Highway Department will be $798,888.04, which includes the additional $350,000 approved by the commissioners. INDOT will pay the remaining 80% of the project cost, which is around $3.9 million.
“What it is, is it’s a bridge, but it’s actually a small structure to be honest because there’s three culverts. If three culverts equal more than a 20-foot span, they consider it a bridge, even though it’s culverts,” Moriarty explained. “So when they take out those three culverts, they’re going to put one in multiple span. So it’s actually not going to be a bridge, it’s going to be an arch structure underneath with the earth on top of it.”
Moriarty also presented the 2024 road program, which the commissioners approved. It includes 92 miles of chip and seal, 26 miles of paving and 3.8 miles of microsealing, which is about similar to the 2023 road program.
In other business, the commissioners approved:
• A request from Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) interim Co-director Suzie Light that the Abonmarche project contract for the CR 1300N area be approved with the balance of the encumbered 2023 special projects funds totaling $33,618.75 to be used toward the project.
The project, otherwise known as the CR 1300N steering project, is a study with various stakeholders between Milford and Syracuse looking at the best possible land use in that area.
Commissioner Brad Jackson said the funds have already been allocated for KEDCO, but KEDCO has to ask each time they want to spend some of the funding.
In the future, KEDCO will return before the commissioners to request 2024 funds to help finish out the project.
County Councilwoman Joni Truex said, “They will be requesting the 2024 funds, less the Van Buren TIF, which the Redevelopment Commission is allocating 30% of the cost of this project to that study.”
• The Kosciusko Area Bus Service (KABS) Section 5311 Rural Transit first quarter claim and an invoice for two new vehicles from the 2024 5339 Capital Grant request, as presented by Kristin Rude, KABS general manager.
On the claim, she said KABS’ first quarter expenses totaled $209,330. The federal operating funds covered $104,665 of that request, while the state operating match covered $52,332. The remaining $52,333 is covered by the applied local match.
KABS also was awarded a Capital Grant through the 5339 funds for two 2025 Ford E450 50-passenger buses. The price per bus is $121,954, for a total of $241,908. The federal match on those is 80%, and the remaining 20% will be covered through the applied local match, she said. The buses are being purchased through Midwest Transit Equipment.
• Emergency Management Agency Director Kip Shuter’s request to apply for a $132,432 2024 State Homeland Security Grant to get fiber out to the highway department where the county’s disaster recovery site will be for its computer systems.
• A joint resolution with Elkhart County for the donation of a K9 dog, Corsa, from the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department to the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office, as presented by county attorney Ed Ormsby. Corsa is already in service in Kosciusko County.
Kosciusko Sheriff Jim Smith said Elkhart Sheriff Jeff Siegel had reached out several months ago to him. Corsa’s handler got promoted to the detective bureau and that wouldn’t allow him to take Corsa with him, and there was no interest from any other Elkhart officer to be a handler.
Rather than trying to sell the K9 and make money, Smith said Siegel called him to see if Kosciusko had an interest in Corsa.
“It turned out that it was perfect timing for us. We have one that’s probably due to retire, maybe at the end of this year, due to health and arthritis, a lot of years. And we had another vehicle that was equipped and ready for it, so very minimal expense on our end,” Smith said, and the budget will support Corsa.
Deputy Elizabeth Johnson will be Corsa’s handler for KCSO. Smith said the two have bonded and have gone to proper training and all is well.
• A temporary and permanent easement that the county is giving to NIPSCO to allow NIPSCO to maintain and repair some utility lines that are running by the Kosciusko County Highway Department, as presented by Ormsby.
• To uphold the Area Plan Commission’s 7-0 decision denying a vacation request from Albert Deckys an alleyway along his property in Atwood. There were remonstrators to the petition. Area Plan Assistant Director Andrew Heltzel presented the request, with attorney Steve Snyder representing the petitioner.

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