Battle over bridges set for Tuesday

The Board of Clark County Commissioners are finally set to make a decision regarding standards for private bridges.

Firefighters didn’t get their way when it came to expanding urban residential street widths, so maybe they will pick up a win after a public hearing, 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Clark County Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St.

Tuesday’s focus will be on proposed standards for certain bridges, said Carolyn Heniges, the bridge program manager for Clark County Public Works.

Firefighters have expressed concern that privately-owned bridges (there’s an estimated 679 of them in Clark County) may not be sturdy enough to support an engine, Heniges said. Response time would be delayed if firefighters have to run hoses across the bridge.

The proposed code commissioners will consider on Tuesday would not require inspections (and possible upgrades) unless additional homes are built or new lots are created, Heniges said.

Developers might, in some cases, be able to choose equipping homes with fire sprinklers rather than upgrade the bridge.

When commissioners first started talking about private bridges, the recommendation was to require inspections — and possible upgrades — for all of the bridges, but commissioners backed off and decided just to require inspections when a new development application comes in, Heniges said.

The county has sponsored three open houses, and residents who attended have been concerned about the costs of inspections and upgrades, Heniges said.

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