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Bridge modification approved for sports park

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Redesign needed to keep floodwaters out of complex

By Marty Finley

The Elizabethtown Tourism Commission on Wednesday approved a small redesign on the Elizabethtown Sports Park. Planning Director Ed Poppe said the change should help lower the potential of flooding around a bridge and roadway in the park.

The redesign entails restructuring of one of the bridges running through the middle portion of the park, which will change the overall cost of construction.

Poppe said the bridge, if constructed as designed, could serve as a barrier, acting more like a dam and backing water up into area subdivisions.

To eliminate the concerns, Poppe said the bridge needs to be raised roughly a foot and the grading needs to be changed to accommodate the additional height.

The city approached m2d Design Group about the needed design changes, and the firm estimated an additional week’s worth of design to meet the city’s requests, Poppe said. In response, the Elizabethtown Tourism Commission approved a $5,100 design fee.

Poppe said the expected cost of the bridge’s construction is unclear until the design is complete, but he projected it could add an additional $100,000 to $125,000 to existing building contracts.

The city has built in change order limits for each construction contract and Poppe said the work will be divided between three contractors. He expects the cost to fall within the limits.

One point of concern was the removal of a second entrance to the baseball fields, nixed as part of the redesign. Elizabethtown Tourism Chairman Jim Long said he is afraid the turnover between games could lead to a bottleneck as large numbers of people try to enter and exit at the same time on one road. A roundabout also is being removed.

But Poppe said it may be more plausible to widen the road to include a third driving lane on the singular baseball entrance rather than keep a second entrance, which found some favor with commissioners.

Outgoing Commissioner H. Wayne Smith said the city could install three 12-foot lanes, which would provide plenty of room per lane for larger vehicles, such as ambulances or buses.

Long also asked Poppe to ensure the turning radii are wide on the roadways for buses and other vehicles that require more room.

Also during the meeting, the commission approved a bid from Korkat, Inc./ Lanier Plans Inc at $197,268.75 for construction of a miracle field at the park. The approved contract for the miracle field was $70,000 higher than the lowest bid, but Poppe said the lowest bidder left out important aspects of the project. If those elements had been included, he said, the bid would have been higher.

Poppe also asked for permission to pursue new bids on three packages: synthetic turf, building specialties and the grandstands and press box.

Poppe said the city needs to pursue a rebid on the synthetic turf because the standard warranties offered by the bidders are wildly varied. By rebidding the work, he said the city can include more specific instructions on the warranties and include a request for bids for two synthetic fields instead of one to determine if it will be more cost effective.

The business specialties package, which includes items such as restroom partitions and lockers, received no bids. Poppe said it is a materials-only package but he has no clue why the package failed to attract interest because local companies specialize in the materials.

Finally, the city wants to rebid the grandstand and press box work after most of the bids were disqualified because the bidders did not follow the proper process, Poppe said. The remaining bid, he added, was too expensive.

With the tourism commission’s approval, Poppe said he will take the sports park requests before the Elizabethtown City Council on Monday.

Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.