The Conway Chamber of Commerce approved spending "up to $300,000" for third-party engineering inspection for a planned bridge over Sturgis Road on Tuesday night, amending the contract with

The inspector, a Garver Engineering employee, will make sure that steel reinforcing bar (rebar) is installed correctly and that the correct types of concrete are used, among other things, City Engineer Ronnie Hall said. About $160,000 will go to this inspector, with the remainder going for Garver Engineering review of plans for the bridge.

There is an engineer within the street department who could do the continual inspections at the bridge site, "but that would draw him away from his other tasks," Hall said.

Hall said that this engineer has to "say grace" over new construction in three residential subdivisions and several sidewalk projects, and that third-party inspection is standard practice for both the state highway department and municipal street departments.

The $300,000 amount assumes that the bridge will be built ahead of schedule. It’s possible, or likely, that more will be spent. The entire Sturgis Road overpass and south I-40 interchange is budgeted at more than $3 million.

This project is funded by dedicated street department money, and will not have a direct impact on the city’s general fund.