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Safety, security included in improvement



Published: Wed, July 6, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The bridge will be restored to its 1940s look.

NEWTON FALLS -- Work to rehabilitate the Newton Falls Covered Bridge will include installing closed-circuit television to protect it from vandals and arsonists.

The project starts July 11, Trumbull County Engineer John Latell said. The job will be finished by spring 2006.

The detour will be marked as Milton Boulevard to East Broad Street to Center Street.

The Arlington Street Bridge over the Mahoning River's east branch was built around 1831 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

It's the second-oldest covered bridge in Ohio still in use in its original location, Latell's office said.

The rehabilitation will include replacement of the bridge siding, roof, deck planking, floor beams, sidewalk members and deteriorated or fractured structural timber. It also will include replacement of existing steel pile piers with concrete piers constructed to look like stone.

Modern roadway and walkway lighting will be installed -- along with the closed-circuit television for vandal and fire protection.

The project is funded by the county engineer using a $1.06 million federal construction grant obtained in 2002 through the County Engineer's Association of Ohio.

BECDIR Construction Co. of Youngstown has the $827,506 contract, and Smolen Engineering of Jefferson was hired to assist with project administration and inspections. DLZ Ohio Inc., Cleveland, will provide technical aid as needed.

Past construction

Over the years the bridge has been modified and improved.

In 1921 a covered sidewalk was added, and in 1943 two stone piers were added to help support the original 102-foot span. The stone piers were replaced with steel in 1962; repairs were made after May 1985 tornado damage to the roof and sidewalk.

"This rehabilitation project will restore the bridge to a structurally sound state as well as greatly improve the aesthetic appearance of the bridge by returning it to its 1943 appearance," Latell said.

For information, call bridge engineer John Picuri, (330) 675-2640.




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