By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer
City officials are looking into a more permanent solution for the Hull Street bridge.
Public Works Committee members discussed Wednesday a plan of action to repair the bridge, which was built in the late 1950s.
Members also agreed to recommend to the City Commission the extension of Axtell Road from Wallace to Ross and the annexation of county land in North Clovis.
City Manager Joe Thomas said a recent inspection by the state department of transportation determined the bridge was structurally sound. But Public Works Director Harry Wang said the inspection also determined that the deck of the bridge had would last between a year and five years.
The city has made temporary repairs on the bridge every five years for ten years, City Manager Joe Thomas said.
Wang said after a resealing Monday, a hole started to develop on the bridge that about 4,300 vehicles use daily. The hole is about six inches in diameter and narrows through the deck of the bridge.
“We don’t want to wait any longer (to repair the bridge),” he said.
Thomas said the city are facing two options: Repairing the bridge and keeping the structure or completely replacing the bridge.
Repairing the bridge would cost the city about $3.6 million, according to Wang.
Rebuilding the bridge, which would turn it into a four lane road and extend it from 395 feet to 500 feet would cost about $10 million, he said.
Thomas said the city will try to look at what funds would be available to determine which option to choose.
Wang said the city could speak with BNSF railways to fund about 30 percent of rebuilding the bridge.
“We are more inclined for the total replacement with the extension if we can get the railroad to participate,” he said.
Meanwhile, the committee members will recommend the city annex about 43-acres of land north of Clovis. The Tractor Supply Company and a future Holiday Inn Express is located on the land.
Thomas said the motel will require a sewer line, which it does not have access to unless the city annexes the land.
“It’s not feasible for a motel to be on a septic system,” he said.
If the city annexes the land, it could extend the sewer line under prince, which ends before Utah street.
Thomas said the city will need a majority of the land owners to agree to the annexation.
“It appears we’ve got more than 50 percent willing,” he said.
Committee members will also recommend to the city commission the paving of Axtell road from Wallace to Ross streets.
The cost of the project is estimated at $200,000, according to Wang.
Sam Snell who plans to build a theater along the road said he will pay for half of the cost. The city will fund the remainder with the drainage fund and the District 4 paving fund.