Columbia, MO -- Scotland County is getting federal help to repair roads and bridges damaged by severe spring storms. Through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Public Assistance program, the county will receive funding to help with repairs at numerous project sites around the county.
Because of damages caused by the storms in May, President Bush issued a disaster declaration on May 6 for a number of Missouri counties. Under this declaration, Scotland County, located in northeast Missouri on the Iowa line, was designated eligible for Public Assistance on May 24. Since that time county officials have worked with FEMA and the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to identify all damage sites and define the work that needed to be funded.
The Public Assistance Program, administered by SEMA and funded 75 percent by FEMA, provides for the repair, restoration, or replacement of damaged public structures and facilities, such as roads, bridges, and public buildings. Eligible applicants include state and local governments and certain private, non-profit organizations.
Of the eligible projects currently approved in Scotland County, most are defined as "small projects" or projects costing less than $52,000. Small projects are funded using the initial estimate of cost which allows for quicker transfer of funds. Those projects primarily involve gravel wash or damaged culverts and are scattered throughout the 438 square mile county.
The county has one "large project," meaning costing more than $52,000. Large projects are funded on a reimbursement basis, using the final accounting of actual, eligible, and documented costs. Scotland County's large project is replacement of the bridge over the Middle Fabius River in the 3,691 acre Indian Hills Conservation Area.
The Indian Hills Conservation Area, a rich upland game habitat with abundant quail, rabbit, deer and turkey, attracts out-of-area hunters to Scotland County. A micro industry has developed, providing cabins and guide services to visiting sportsmen. This has a significant and positive impact on the local agriculturally based economy.
In May, floodwaters of the Middle Fabius River washed trees and other debris under the old steel and timber bridge, lifting it from its abutments, seriously damaging the support piling, and washing out the approaches. Situated on the major route through the conservation area, the bridge and the gravel road it is on were the major access route to the area for both users and Department of Conservation managers.
The county applied for funding to replace the bridge with a new one built to current codes and standards. By adding Hazard Mitigation, Section 406, funds to the cost of building to meet minimum county requirements, Scotland County will rebuild the new bridge to be more resistant to future flooding.
"Hazard mitigation" is action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards and their effects. Under the Public Assistance program, "406 funds" can be added to repair and rebuilding projects to pay for cost-effective measures to reduce or eliminate the threat of future damage to the facility.
Scotland County?s new bridge is estimated to be a 20 x 70 foot clear span steel girder bridge with a concrete deck. It will be built longer and higher to prevent or reduce the threat of future damage. The waterway opening will be more than doubled to allow floodwaters to flow through without damage, and approaches to the bridge will be wider.
The total estimated eligible cost of this bridge project is $89,452; the 75 percent federal share of $67,089 has been obligated, and transferred to the state for disbursement to the county following the state?s guidelines and requirements.
County crews are hard at work on the new span. Depending on the weather, the new bridge should open to traffic well before the autumn...