MONTGOMERY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Officials in Daviess county met on Thursday to discuss ways to receive funds to meet additional costs to replace a bridge near Barr-Reeve Middle and High School.

Montgomery Town Board President Mike Haley said, before the pandemic, he hoped the project would cost about $2 million. With rising costs, officials raised the budget to $2.5 million.

When the Daviess county commissioners officially received the only bid, it was higher than expected.

“There were several companies that picked up bid packages and only one submitted a bid and it was $3.15 million dollars,” Haley said.

Haley said after an inspection several years ago, the town was told the bridge has a lifespan of 10 years. Daviess county commissioner Ron Arnold said the bridge needs to be replaced.

“It’s a situation where the bridge is, in my opinion, is in such bad shape it either needs to be torn down, and forget about it, or replace it,” Arnold said.

He raised potential safety concerns with if the bridge wasn’t replaced, as it’s the only bypass of railroad tracks near the school.

“If there was a train that was going to block that, not only for school buses, but for fire trucks and ambulances, it becomes a safety issue,” Arnold said. “I feel like the county has a responsibility to assist the town of Montgomery and get the bridge put back up.”

The town has a $1 million community crossings grant from the Indiana Highway Department, and officials today explored options to help cover some of the remaining costs. Arnold said he expects the county commissioners to take their next steps on Tuesday.

“People in Daviess county are known for working together. I appreciate the town of Montgomery board members, and fellow commissioners,” Arnold said, “Working together, we can get a lot of good things done.”