As Union City embarks on plans to build a new Danish road bridge over Birch Creek, city officials have decided to expand water and sewer service east of the creek.
The Aldermen Council voted at its March 14 meeting to approve amendments to its agreement with Union-based Cochran Engineering that would pay Cochran, who is in charge of the city’s project management, $19,490 to design the 400-foot-long Water mains and works on pressurized sewers. The pipeline will run under the creek.
The city originally planned to build a two-inch water and sewer line across the creek to the home of the Landowners Union, from which it purchased the bridge property.
But as U.S. Rescue Program Act funding becomes available, it will instead build lines that can serve larger areas.
“In the long run, it’s going to benefit the city instead of building what we agreed to build,” said city administrator Jonathan Zimmerman. “I think it’s in our best interest to do this. So we don’t have to come back later.”
Cochran was also responsible for obtaining pipeline crossing permits from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In February 2020, the city began acquiring right-of-way for the bridge, which will replace the low-water crossing a quarter mile west of Interstate 44 and south of Highway 50, and is expected to be completed later that year. Construction began. But the COVID-19 pandemic and a longer-than-expected land acquisition process delayed the project, and a right-of-way agreement with the owners of the desired property, Herman and Connie Grimes, was not approved until May 2021.
According to previous reports in Missouri, the cost of the new bridge is estimated to be just over $1 million, while the city’s price has risen by $228,177. Federal funding for the project, administered by the East-West Council of Governments, will cover 80 percent of its cost.
It’s unclear what the additional cost of the new water and sewer lines will be, Zimmerman said.
“Once they have a preliminary design, we’ll have an estimate,” he said.
The dimensions of the water pipes and sewers will also be determined in the design. The city could consider setting up the pipeline to wrap around and eventually cross the existing bridge over Birch Creek on Highway 50 and connect to where the water and sewer lines now end.
“That’s why we have to choose the right pipe size,” Zimmerman said.
Zimmermann said the piles on the bridge were initially expected to be knocked out last week, but due in part to rain, they weren’t toppled until the week of March 28.
Once completed, the 101-foot-long Danish road bridge will be built by St. Louis-based Pace Construction and will be the longest bridge owned by the Alliance.
The city has been discussing replacing the low-water crossing at Birch Creek since at least 2016. The project is considered to be the third phase of road improvements in Denmark. The first stage was completed in 2014 and included new lanes and shoulders from Prairie Dell Road to east of St. Andrews Drive. Sidewalks have also been installed along that stretch of road.
The second phase, completed in summer 2018, includes a new bridge off St Andrews Avenue over an unnamed tributary of the Bulbers River.
As part of the project, a roundabout was constructed at Denmark Road and St Andrews Avenue. The roundabout is designed to solve the speeding problem in the area.