Supervisor wants second opinion on bridge repair, replacements

MCCOMB — A Pike County supervisor wants a second opinion on whether the county really needs $5 million worth of bridge repairs and replacements.

The Board of Supervisors will first meet with the engineering firm that prepared a report saying three bridges need replacement and one needs repairs, The Enterprise-Journal reported.

The board agreed in February to borrow up to $5.5 million for the work. It was about to authorize the sale when Supervisor Gary Honea suggested an independent assessment last Friday, noting that the county’s engineering firm, Neel-Shaffer, prepared the report and would get fees from the work.

“For years we’ve used these bridges without problems, and all of a sudden we need to replace them,” he said. “That’s a lot of money. That’s going to raise my taxes.”

Supervisor Chuck Lambert said reports on deteriorating bridges have been coming in for years, and from county engineers before Neel-Schaffer.

Board president Luke Brewer suggested the board have a work session with Neel-Schaffer to go over its findings.

Brewer said he found no fault with Honea’s idea.

“If I was doing something like this in my business, I’d want a second opinion,” he said.

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