Cove 9 Bridge Update

Upcoming Annual Elections/Ballots
October 8, 2019
ILPOA Treasurer’s Update
October 12, 2019


We wanted to get an update out to everyone regarding the cove 9 bridge project. As many of you are aware with your prior approval, we have been in the 1st Phase (design) of the bridge project which is almost complete and will be looking to move into Phase 2 (construction) fall 2020. Below is a summary of where we are at now and the estimated timeline and process for Phase 2.

Current Bridge Update

ILPOA has performed the interim suggested recommendations from Cochran, our bridge design engineers, but unfortunately the only long-term fix is to replace the current structure.

  • The ongoing problems with our 60-year-old bridge that can’t be fixed are as follows:
    • Bridge needs to be longer than the current one due to the sheer volume of water that scour/undermine the west embankment & east wing wall
    • This can only be fixed with extending/lengthening the bridge as the current span is too short.
    • Timber pilings on the east embankment are deteriorating.
    • Deteriorating steel stringers

Cochran Bridge Design

We have received the final Phase 2 cost estimate summaries from Cochran as they work to complete the last finishing touches on the design. The bridge design was based on member feedback from forms and surveys conducted by the bridge committee.

  • The majority of members wanted to see the following incorporated into the design:
    • Same width as our current bridge. No additional lanes or walkways
    • No enhanced features like fishing “bump outs” or enhanced aesthetics
    • No lighting options

The bridge design that the committee worked with Cochran on is the most basic design achievable with addressing the existing issues with the current bridge.  This design meets our community’s needs with a basic steel guardrail and is designed to provide a strong, low maintenance, long life bridge for the community in many years to come.

Phase 2 Net Cost Estimates

Cochran has provided the final cost analysis to the final design for Phase 2. Below is an overview of the cost to replace the Cove 9 bridge.

  • The total membership assessment cost for building the new bridge is approximately $389,133
    • Items that we needed to consider that will affect this number:
      • Money carrying over from Phase 1 that will decrease the final construction total by $26,312. This will reduce the total cost of the bridge project to $362,821

Membership Assessment

We will be sending out an assessment vote with the fall ballot to fund this critical project. Below is a breakdown of members responsibility if approved.

  • Each member will be responsible for a onetime assessment of $376.00 for this project.
    • First payment due no later than March 1, 2020 of $188.00
    • Second equal payment due no later than August 1st, 2020 of $188.00
      • *We would appreciate a full onetime payment by March 1st of $376.00 for those that can afford to do so to reduce operational costs to the association

Construction Bid Process

We are targeting to start advertising the 2nd Phase of this project if approved in June 2020. Cochran is contracted for the bid process to ensure it is bid by as many qualified companies as possible and that the process runs smoothly.   Like the design Phase of this project, we will allow members to suggest qualified construction companies to be considered. We will only consider suggested companies meeting the following criteria:

  • Have at least 5 years of experience with bridge construction
  • Fully licensed/bonded and insured appropriately for this type of work
    • $3 million liability insurance and provide a separate performance and payment bond in the amount of the bid
  • Can meet the expected completion deadlines to ensure minimal disruption to our membership.

If you would like to suggest a company for consideration as a bidder, please have them send resume and proof of above requirements to

Estimated Cost

We have been asked by members to give them an exact cost of a new bridge and unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Therefore, we cannot simply get a bid and give the membership a “hard” number. Here are the reasons why we can not secure a binding bid at this time.

  • Funding must be in place for a reputable contractor to put forth a binding bid. Typically, contractor bids are good for 30 to 60 days only, due to the fluctuating construction costs throughout the year.
  • To get funding for this size of a project we will need to raise the funds first or, at the very minimum, offer assurance (through a signed contract) that the bills will be paid.
  • It would be impossible and irresponsible to sign a contract locking in a construction company with a final “hard” number until monies have be approved and collected by the membership.

Cochran has provided us with a very good estimate for us to obtain funding from members.  We researched their estimate vs construction costs and found Cochran to be excellent at providing strong estimates for customers.   Remember that any overage will be put towards roads.  

Estimated Timeline

Below is the estimated timeline for Phase 2. Remember, this is just an estimate.

  • Collection of assessment March 1st & August 1st 2020
  • We are targeting advertising this project for bid to begin June 2020
  • We will receive, evaluate and award contract approximately July/August 2020
  • Lowering of the lake to begin late Summer 2020
  • Estimated start date of construction & complete prep work at dam for emergency vehicles, Winter of 2020. DNR is involved with this temporary work at the dam.
  • Complete construction Winter/Spring of 2021

The team has put a ton of work and time into this project. We would like to sincerely thank this group for their work in Phase 1 and their continued support in Phase 2. The bridge committee consists of the following members: John Oeltjen, Mary Beth Huffman, Brian Nisbet, Gary Weber and Mike Dean. Thank you again on behalf of Indian Hills!

If you have any questions please feel free to email the committee at

Thank you,

Mark McLean

President- ILPOA