The Appanoose County Board of Supervisors Monday, March 17 voted to award French Reneker Associates of Fairfield the contract to come up with the preliminary design and concept statement for redoing Highway T61 from Unionville south to state Highway 2.
French Reneker should come back in a few months with a plan for the project, Appanoose County Engineer Gary Bishop said by telephone Monday. The plan should address what it’s going to take to design the project to rebuild the pavement and meet all of the federal aid requirements, he said.
“Which if you’re using federal aid money it’s important and there’s quite a few hoops that we’ve got to jump through,” Bishop said. “Using federal money isn’t that easy and we’re short-handed and so the board agreed to hire them to help us with that.”
Bishop said the Appanoose County Secondary Road Department is short-handed because they lost their assistant to the county engineer, necessitating the need to hire an outside consultant.
Bishop said the county has $1.5 million in federal money set aside in their five year plan to help pay for the re-paving project on T61.
The total cost of the project depends on what the consultants determine.
“We’ve got to do a preliminary estimate to see how much it’s going to take,” Bishop said. “But that’s what we hired French Reneker to do is to come up with a concept on how to handle rebuilding that pavement.”
Highway T61 from Unionville to Highway 2 is concrete with some asphalt patches, Bishop said. The plan is to rebuild the road with new concrete but the material used could depend on French Reneker’s recommendation.
“That’s what we hired the help from the consultants,” Bishop said, as to what type of material to use to replace Highway T61. “We’re not sure how it’s going to be done yet.”
T61 from Unionville to state Highway 2 is also known as 310th Avenue. It is approximately five miles in length, Bishop said Monday.
Bishop said the T61 project could start late summer of 2015.
Bishop said the last Iowa Department of Transportation traffic count done in 2010 showed 630 vehicles drove on T61 between Unionville and Highway 2 every day. The DOT conducts traffic counts every four years, Bishop said.