Ottawa County commissioners redefined its major collector roads on Monday, shifting the collector status to an area where a future bridge improvement is expected to boost traffic load.
Commission chairman Russell Earls and commissioner Kenneth Palmer each removed “major collector” status from approximately two and a half miles of road in their districts in order to move the distinction to approximately five miles of County Road 590 between county roads 160 and 137.
With the new status, County Road 590 now becomes eligible for additional state funding, according to Earls.
The new revenue will be combined with other funding sources, including $155,000 in Central Engineering District money recently redirected to Ottawa County through Delaware County, and used for planned replacement of Connor's bridge.
Earls said Delaware County commissioners redirected the road and bridge money to Ottawa County because they do not have a project ready and would have to return the funds back to the engineering district.
“They have the right to redirect the money and they chose to send it to Ottawa County for use in replacing one of our bridges,” Earls said.
In the meantime, Ottawa County Commission members asked the engineering district to move Connor's Bridge up on the priority list as local officials continue efforts to pool funding for improvements of that bridge.
Connor's bridge, one of the county's oldest bridges, suffered significant damage in the July flood event and has subsequently been closed to traffic.
Earls said Monday that the bridge - previously planned for replacement in 2011 - has now has a target replacement date in 2008.