City to save on bridge inspections

By Frank Lewis

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The city of Portsmouth is poised to save around $4,000 a year in bridge inspections. Portsmouth City Manager Derek K. Allen will introduce legislation on Aug. 10 that will change the way the city has hired companies to inspect its bridges.

Allen said the city is required to perform an annual bridge inspection of all bridges within the city’s corporation limits. He said for at least the last five years the city has paid an engineer approximately $4,000 per year to conduct the bridge analysis.

“This year ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) is providing this service free of charge if the municipality enters into a (attached) LPA Agreement,” Allen said in his City Manager’s Agenda for Aug. 10.

LPA stands for Local Public Agency and the form is standard for the transaction. The LPA says – “The state shall assume 100 percent of all of the cost for Bridge Inspection Program Services requested by the city and agreed to by the state. Eligible Bridge Inspection Services are described in the Consultant’s Scope of Services Task Order Contract.”

Allen said there are some costs that may be outside the scope of services and there would be expense to the city.

“Whatever this expense would be it is projected to be less than we would have paid for the entire evaluation,” Allen said in his report.

Under “Authority to Sign,” there is a line that allows the action to be declared an emergency measure to expedite the highway project and to promote highway safety. The LPA goes on to say – “Following appropriate legislative action, it shall take effect and be in force immediately upon its passage and approval, otherwise it shall take effect and be in force from and after the earliest period allowed by law.”

City council will choose one of four options when it is presented to them – 1. That the LPA Agreement be entered into as attached; 2. Amend this request; 3. Take no action; 4. Reject this request.

An email to the city requesting the number of bridges within the city limits was unreturned over a three-day period.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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