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Russell County Commission Decides Bridge Replacement is the Only Option

Russell CountyAn outdated and historically significant bridge on the Russell/Rush County line is causing disagreement between Commissioners from the two neighboring counties.

Russell and Rush County Commissioners have been discussing over the last couple months whether it would be better to repair the World War II-era, limestone arch bridge or completely replace it. Russell County Public Service Administrator and County Appraiser Kenton Lyon says it's a cost issue, but it's also quickly becoming a safety issue.

"Russell County's of the position that a new, modern steel and concrete structure would be superior particularly at less than half the cost," Lyon said. "Rush County's of the opinion that it is a - and it is - a pretty limestone, WPA structure and they want to preserve that if at all possible, but it's almost $200,000 to do that so there's difference in opinion."

According to Lyon, whether the bridge is repaired or replaced, its place on the State of Kansas historical registry will be removed. Russell County Commissioners decided Monday at their regular meeting to replace the bridge and await a response from Rush County.

Other items of discussion at Monday's meeting included the approval to begin taking bids for a new fire truck to be purchased for the Dorrance Fire Department, a monthly update from Emergency Manager Keith Haberer, and review of the report from a recent underground water contamination test that was done in wells beneath the Russell County landfill where all results came back showing no serious contamination.

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