Fresno County supervisors have agreed to a settlement on a bridge project that county officials said left too much debris in the Kings River and posed a danger to rafters and swimmers.
Supervisors approved a $550,000 settlement with insurance companies representing Rising Sun, the construction company that worked on the Goodfellow Avenue bridge project four years ago.
Under the terms of the agreement, the county will pay $150,000 to the company for money withheld as the project concluded. The county will keep $400,000 that will be used for its roads budget.
The settlement stems from a dispute with Exeter-based Rising Sun. The company and the county disagreed over whether the construction contract called for removing steel beams from under the bridge.
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The beams were the remains of a temporary brace that was used to support the 520-foot bridge during construction.
Rising Sun representatives said the beams submerged in the floor of the river didn’t present any problems. The county, however, said the beams were dangerous because they protruded from the river bottom.
County officials said parts of remaining bridge beams were jagged, sharp and dangerous for those who may have wanted to jump in the river.
$550,000Amount of Fresno County settlement for bridge construction issue
To fix the problem, the officials hired a new contractor three years ago to clean up the bridge construction site that kept a six-mile stretch of the Kings River closed for nearly a year. The river was closed between Goodfellow Avenue and Highway 180 to the north until the work was done.
The county paid Rising Sun most of the $3 million-plus for the bridge construction project.
In other action, supervisors approved submitting a grant application through the State Water Resources Control Board for $10 million to pay for a new water system connecting El Porvenir and Cantua Creek in western Fresno County.
Supervisors also supported a $300,000 settlement in a deputy-involved shooting. Two deputies shot and killed a man in 2010 after his father called authorities reporting that his son was suicidal.
Richard James Rodriguez, 58, of Fresno died after a confrontation with deputies at a house in a rural area southwest of Fresno. Deputies were called twice to the home near Brawley and Jensen avenues in response to reports that Rodriguez was fighting with a brother. On the second trip, deputies were told that one of the brothers was talking about suicide and was armed with a .22-caliber rifle, Sheriff Margaret Mims said at the time.
Both deputies fired shots, Mims said. Rodriguez was taken to Community Regional Medical Center, where he later died. Neither the deputies nor other family members at the home were injured. Court records said Rodriguez was unarmed when he was shot.