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Wadena County gets $650,000 in stimulus for bridge, highway work

Wadena County received $650,000 for bridge and highway work out of President Barack Obama's $787 billion stimulus bill, according to Joel Ulring, the county's highway engineer.

"That is 100 percent federal funding," Ulring said. "So that was a very nice thing to hear."

$625,000 of the stimulus money will fund a bridge replacement on County State Aid Highway 2 over the Partridge River three-quarters of a mile west of CSAH 26 northeast of Aldrich.

The money covers any of the consultant fees the county paid for the design up to this point, he said. The replacement was originally scheduled for 2010. It also covers the cost associated with construction inspection.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation also put the U.S. Highway 10 resurfacing work into stimulus funding, he said. The county and Wadena Township were covering an approximately $25,000 portion of that contract to do overlay work on gravel road crossings and BNSF tracks.

"It was another nice little shot in the arm," Ulring said.

Bidding for the overlay project is planned to open March 13, he said.

Plans for the stimulus money kept the highway department and MnDOT pretty busy for the past couple of weeks, Ulring said. Five of the 13 counties in MnDOT District 3 received funding.

The stimulus bill also set aside $64 billion to enhance the safety, security and efficiency of the nation's transportation infrastructure. Minnesota will receive about $502 million for road and bridge construction, Ulring said. Of that amount, an estimated $125 million will go to counties with $66 million to out-state areas and $59 million to metro counties.