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Higher Cost for Repairs

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It could cost Lee County much more than anticipated to repair a well-traveled road.

A stretch of River Road, between Keokuk and Montrose, had to be closed in June 2010 because of a landslide.

County Engineer Ernie Steffensmeier says the lowest of three bids for a permanent stabilization plan came in at just over $1-million.

He believes the bids are accurate based on the fact that all three are within 10% of each other.

Steffensmeier told the Board of Supervisors, earlier this week, the original estimate for the project was around $540,000.

He did not explain to the board why the original estimate and the low bid were so far apart.

The federal government has said it would cover $350,000, due to the emergency nature of the repairs.

Steffensmeier says the county’s share would have been about $190,000, based on the original estimate, but because of the bids, the county will now have to come up with nearly $700,000.

The increased county expenses could lead to upcoming road and bridge projects being delayed.

The Lee County Board of Supervisors is expected to discuss the hillside repair next week.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.