LOGAN — Although there is no definitive start date for the Ohio Avenue bridge replacement project, Hocking County Engineer William Shaw is hoping the rain will stop long enough to begin construction — soon.
“All I can say at this point is, we’re hoping to start soon,” he told The Logan Daily News. Shaw said with all the rain, it’s been difficult to begin or complete any projects that may be going on at this time.
“Work is to begin soon on the replacement of the 81-year-old bridge over Oldtown Creek on Ohio Avenue in the City,” Shaw noted.
The $918,858.10 project entails replacing the existing 40-foot long, 31-foot wide concrete bridge that was built in 1938. It will be replaced with a new 72-foot long, 34.5-foot wide composite pre-stressed concrete structure with five-foot sidewalks on both sides.
The project construction will be done by D.G.M., Inc. of Beaver.
While the Federal Highway Administration covers 80 percent of the cost, the Engineer’s office is responsible for the remaining 20 percent and will use a zero percent loan from the Ohio Public Works Commission for its share.
According to Shaw, the City of Logan requested to maintain traffic flow during construction for emergency vehicles, so the project will be built in two phases using “half-width” construction. Traffic will be maintained on one half of the existing structure using traffic signals while the other half will be demolished and replaced with half of the new structure.
Traffic will then be transferred to the newly-constructed side, with the contractor then able to demolish and construct the other side. Each one-lane phase is expected to last approximately 50 days.
Shaw told the newspaper that the “half-width” construction adds about $150,000 to the total cost of the project, and in addition, increases the length of construction time by one and a half months.
When asked what kind of risk is involved when cutting a bridge in half, Shaw commented, “There is always a chance that when the existing bridge is sawed in half, it is found that the remaining concrete is unsafe for traffic.”
He added that if it were found to be unsafe, the structure would have to be closed to all traffic.
“I don’t expect that to happen though,” he continued.
This will definitely be an inconvenience for those traveling in the area; with construction equipment in the area, one-lane traffic, and proximity to the California Avenue intersection, motorists traveling Ohio Avenue should detour to Maysville-Williams Road when possible.
“In fact, I encourage everyone to take Mayville-Williams Road,” Shaw reiterated. “That would help everyone during this project. I have also asked the City to contact the railroad asking them to prevent the closure of Ohio Avenue with railcars during this time. And, of course, fair time will present another problem.”
He said one advantage of having a new bridge is that its increased length and higher bottom will greatly increase the waterway area under the bridge, which will actually lower the elevation of the 100-year flood in the area.
While Shaw is hoping to have the project completed by early November, this is all dependent on the weather. However, he said crews might be in the area in the next few weeks installing drainage pipe and widening the pavement in preparation for the one-lane closure.
For further information or concerns, contact the Hocking County Engineer’s Office at 740-385-8543.