The contract for the $7.21 million project is expected to be awarded in March.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
NILES -- Replacement of the Main Street viaduct isn't set to start until at least April, but the city must remove contaminated soil on one side of the bridge where a city sewer plant used to be.
"We have an agreement with the city of Niles that they're responsible for removing the soil," said Jack Noble, structure and pavement planning engineer for Ohio Department of Transportation District 4. "We don't expect it to delay the project at this point."
Mark Hess, city engineering, grants and development coordinator, said the city is awaiting a list from ODOT of companies that remove contaminated soil.
Motor oil: The contamination, confined to a small area, was caused by motor oil stored in barrels at the site. The sewer plant included maintenance staff who worked on vehicles.
The contract for the project, estimated at $7.21 million, is scheduled to be awarded in March and construction would likely start in late April, Noble said.
It's expected to take about 21/2 years.
"That's about the length of time for this type of project, when it's a new bridge basically, and we're not reusing much, if any, of the existing bridge," Noble said.
The bridge, which spans about one-third of a mile, was built in 1932. The three-to-four-lane bridge on state Route 46 extends from the city's south side to downtown, and will remain open during replacement. It's scheduled to be reduced to two lanes during construction.
City officials learned about a year ago that ODOT had scheduled the project for 2002.
Previous delays: The project has been delayed several times. Plans originally were announced in 1995 for construction to begin in 1999, and then in 2000.
In 1999, the date was pushed back to the end of 2001 because of ODOT's delays in issuing contracts for the design phase of the project. That was the same reason used for pushing the construction date to spring 2002.
Burgess & amp; Niple of Akron is designing the project.
The steel and concrete structure is one of only two spans over the Mahoning River in the city. A bridge on Belmont Avenue is the other.
Work to replace the Belmont Avenue bridge started late last year.