A $1.4 million bridge replacement on a main thoroughfare to the center of West Carrollton would more than triple the length of a span that is in “dire” need repair, the engineer said.
The city will need state funds for the project, which would involve acquiring “several parcels of property” to lengthen the Elm Street Bridge as part of the city’s flood protection plan, said West Carrollton Engineer Max Callahan.
The South Elm Street project — targeted to start and be completed in the summer of 2019 — would require closing the 23-foot long bridge. It would expand the new structure to 78 feet with plans to widen Owl Creek, which flows underneath, to 70 feet, Callahan said.
Expanding the bridge is a key part of the city’s flood protection plan, officials said. However, the span that links the southern part of West Carrollton to the city’s center — splitting the town’s east and west sides — has been deteriorating for years and has a 20-ton weight limit.
“It is a main corridor,” Callahan said. “And it is in very dire need of repair.”
The city plans next month to apply for state funds. It is seeking a 50 percent grant through the Ohio Public Works Commission and a 50 percent no-interest loan, Callahan said.
Federal funds could be sought. But that path would require West Carrollton spending local money and would slow the pace of the approval process, possibly jeopardizing the bridge replacement’s timing, City Manager Brad Townsend said.
“It’s got to go through all of the federal processes (and) requires substantial investment from us up front. (That could) push it back beyond 2019,” he said.
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“You get a higher percentage of funding,” Townsend added about the federal route. “But the project cost goes up, too.”
Callahan said city officials are optimistic about West Carrollton odds of landing state funding, Townsend noted seeking $1.3 million may be “pushing the limit of what’s going to be available.”
“But because the bridge is at a condition that it is now - it’s now gotten to a point in the inspection process…..where we should get higher consideration,” Townsend said. “And that’s why we kind of waited till this time to make the application.”
Preliminary design for the new bridge is done, and final design is targeted for this coming January with bid construction penciled in for March 31, 2019, city records show.
Detours will include Orchard Drive to Alex and Ridgecrest Drive to Alex, according to documents.
“It will be a great of difficulty for people living there if they want to head north,” Callahan said. “It’s unfortunate.”