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Quakes prompt earlier bridge checks in Youngstown

Published: Fri, January 20, 2012 @ 12:09 a.m.

Board OKs $49,635 to inspect all 55 now



RELATED: Poll shows mixed feelings among Ohioans about fracking

By David Skolnick



After 12 earthquakes in 10 months, city officials are moving up the once-every-two-year inspection of Youngstown’s 55 bridges.

The city’s board of control voted Thursday to hire MS Consultants for $49,635 to inspect the bridges now rather than later in the year, when the work is typically done.

“We were going to do it in the summer, but I’d rather be safe than sorry,” said Mayor Charles Sammarone, board of control chairman.

There haven’t been reports of damage to any of the city’s bridges because of the earthquakes, said Charles Shasho, deputy director of the city’s public works department.

The epicenter of all 12 quakes, including a magnitude 4.0 on Dec. 31, is near a brine-injection well on Ohio Works Drive on the city’s West Side.

The Division Street Bridge is nearby.

The city has 39 vehicular bridges, including the Division Street Bridge near the injection-well site, as well as 13 railroad bridges and three pedestrian bridges, Shasho said.

MS, a Youngstown company that has inspected the city’s bridge for years, will begin the work shortly, Shasho said. It will take the company about four months to complete the inspections, he said.

The last inspection of the city’s bridges was in late 2010, Shasho said.

The city also will ask the Ohio Department of Transportation to inspect state bridges, he said.

D&L Energy Group, owner of a brine-injection well on Ohio Works Drive, agreed to a shutdown Dec. 30 after discussions with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The epicenter of 10 earthquakes is near the well.

A day later, an 11th earthquake, the largest with a magnitude 4.0, occurred with the epicenter near that well.

That led the state to issue the indefinite moratorium on that well and others within a five-mile radius, while studies of the site are done, including determining whether the injection wells and the earthquakes are connected.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources expanded the ban last week to within seven miles of the well.

Also, a magnitude 2.1 earthquake occurred near the well site last Friday.


1howardinyoungstown(591 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

When the earthquakes are determined to have been caused by the injection well, will the city and county be reimbursed by D&L and Northstar for these inspection costs and any damage they turn up. As a taxpayer I don't want to be stuck with the bill.

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2UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

I think D&L should be responsible for all the damage to everyones' homes as well. Cracked walls and cracked foundations are not good. They shutdown the wells and it's obvious it is making a difference though the recent quake again says the process is not stable and stopped at this point with well shutdown.

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3ytownsteelman(680 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Howard, read the article again. The inspections are being moved up a few months. This is not a new cost.

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4howardinyoungstown(591 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

When we get another 4.0 or larger they will have to inspect them again.

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5WHATSSHAKIN(42 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

I wonder how many had to increase their dosage of drugs and alcoholic beverages because of the trauma caused by the quakes?

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