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Yakima County Briefs

1-Column

County awards bid for road upgrade in Granger area

A number of roads between Zillah and Granger are set for improvement after Yakima County commissioners on Tuesday approved a bid to resurface them.

Sections of roadways to be improved are Wampler Road, from Buena Loop Road to the vicinity of Palen road; LaPierre Road, from Barker Road to the Granger city limits; and Barker again from Beam Road to the Yakima Valley Highway.

County Engineer Gary Ekstedt said the low bid of $348,000 by Superior Asphalt was a full $100,000 below original engineering estimates.

County to replace Hudson Road bridge

The nearly 50-year-old Hudson Road bridge will be replaced this fall.

Located near Van Belle Road, the existing concrete bridge was built in 1957 and is past the end of its lifespan, said County Engineer Gary Ekstedt.

"With modern design and materials a concrete bridge would have a 50-year life span," he said. "With older structures a realistic life span is closer to 30 or 40 years."

On Tuesday, county commissioners approved an agreement for preliminary engineering services related to bridge construction.

Work to demolish the old bridge will begin in mid-October once irrigation water is shut-off.

"The schedule is built around irrigation season," Ekstedt said. "The bridge is over an SVID irrigation facility so we'll wait until the irrigation water is shut-off."

Hudson Road will be closed for three months while the new bridge is constructed. During the closure detours will be in place to re-route traffic. The new Hudson bridge will likely open in January 2007, Ekstedt noted.

Lower Valley District Court to get connected

Opened in February of this year, the Lower Valley District Court in Grandview will finally be connected to the network used by the rest of the District Court system in Yakima.

The Yakima County commissioners on Tuesday approved an agreement that will provide a fiber connection to enable staff at the Grandview court to access district-wide information available via telephone and the internet.

Yakima County sets new bid procedures

Revising a 1998 county ordinance to bring it in line with state guidelines, Yakima County commissioners approved new standards for bid procedures.

Under the new ordinance, the county will not have to solicit bids for construction projects that are $10,000 or less.

Further, the purchase of equipment valued at $2,500 or less will not have to go out to bid.

Public Works Director Vern Redifer noted that the new ordinance would not preclude the county from going out to bid on smaller items and projects.

However, he added, the ordinance gives staff the flexibility to proceed with less expensive purchases and projects without bid in cases where time is of the essence or "it makes good business sense".

Under the new ordinance, county commissioners will still have to provide final approval on all projects, whether or not they have gone out to bid.

Military funds to help county's 911 system

Yakima County will receive assistance for expenses related to enhanced 911 services.

As approved by county commissioners on Tuesday, the agreement calls for Yakima County to received $45,000 from the Washington State Military Department.

The funds are part of a program which assists qualified counties in receiving state military financial assistance for operating county-wide land line and wireless enhanced 911 services.

Enhanced 911 policies include an uninterruptible power supply, auxiliary generator support and clock synchronizer support.

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