Three culverts and two bridges considered essential to the city’s water system are rated in poor condition and in need of replacement, Public Works Director Dale McDowell told the Seaside City Council on Monday, Nov. 25.

“We had inspections done in 2018 and again in June of 2019 on our culverts and bridges,” McDowell said. “We discovered that we do have some culverts that have failed or are failing, and we have two bridges that are also failing.

Culvert C05, is “rotten under the road and undersized,” forester Bruce Keller of Mason, Bruce & Girard wrote in a memo to Seaside City Engineer Geoff Liljenwall in late September.

Culvert C-25 has separated under the road and needs to be replaced, the consultants determined. The 40-foot long pipe at Culvert C-33 is rotten under the road and should be replaced.

Bridge B-1 is in poor condition and only suitable for foot traffic, and should be replaced for better access to potential harvest, stand management and potential fire.

Bridge B2 needs better access and safety.

Project costs for the two bridges are estimated at $20,000 each; culvert replacement ranges from $750 to $2,500.

Thinning of red alder is also sought, McDowell said, to be replaced with hemlock trees. Alder thinnings would be hauled off and offered to residents free as firewood.

Overall project costs for bridges, road maintenance, contracting and tree thinning are estimated at about $123,000.

More than $500,000 is available in the watershed fund, City Manager Mark Winstanley said.

With hunter and recreational access, liability is also an issue.

“Someone walking across one of these bridges to get to the other side could fall through the bridge, step through the bridge,” Winstanley said. “It’s time to get going on this.”

Councilors gave unanimous approval for public works to go ahead with the bid process.

Work will take “some time,” Winstanley said. “This will not be all done in the next couple months. It will take some time for the city to work its way through these different projects.”

Work cannot begin until July 1, when in-water work is permitted. “If something drops in the river, you sure don’t want it to happen out of season,” McDowell said.

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