Bridge replacement projects abound in Mahoning, Shenango valleys

Published: Sun, June 30, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Peter H. Milliken


Nearly $80 million in work is ongoing this summer to replace, redeck or repair bridges throughout the Mahoning and Shenango valleys.

In Youngstown, the 94-year-old Elm Street Bridge over Crandall Run, which carried a daily average of more than 7,000 vehicles, closed March 4. After a $2.3 million replacement project, the new bridge is scheduled to open in mid-November.

That federally funded project is between Saranac Avenue and Tod Lane on the city’s North Side. The bridge is under city jurisdiction, but its replacement is being managed by the Ohio Department of Transportation.

On the East Side, U.S. Route 422 (McCartney Road) closed June 17 between state Route 616 and Struthers- Liberty Road and will remain closed through mid-September. The closure is for a $1.6 million replacement of two bridges over Dry Run Creek at U.S. Route 422 and state Route 616.

A structurally deficient, 1974-vintage bridge carrying U.S. Route 224 over Interstate 680 in Boardman is being replaced and widened in a two-year project. Lane restrictions there began June 17.

The bridge, which carries an average of 32,730 vehicles daily, has a deck rating of 4 on a 0 to 9 scale. Any rating of 4 or below is considered deficient.

In Mahoning County’s Beaver Township, state Route 165 over Mill Creek between Blosser and Basinger roads is closed through early August for a $2.3 million replacement of bridges carrying Route 165 over the creek and state Route 11.

Daily lane restrictions have been imposed on bridges carrying Route 11 over Calla Road and state Route 46 in a $3.1 million bridge deck replacement project scheduled to be completed by next May.

In Trumbull County, the bridge carrying state Routes 46 and 169 (Robbins Avenue) over Mosquito Creek in Niles closed June 10 and will remain closed through late October for a $1.5 million bridge-replacement project.

That 60-year-old bridge, with a deficiency rating of 4 on its deck, superstructure and substructure, carried an average of 13,843 vehicles daily.

In other Trumbull County projects:

State Route 5 in Braceville Township just west of the Ohio Turnpike closed for several weeks beginning June 10 for bridge replacement.

Five Points-Hartford Road in Hartford is closed through late August between Bushnell-Campbell and Cadwallader-Sonk roads for an $800,000 replacement of a bridge over Big Yankee Creek.

In Lordstown, state Route 45 has daily lane restrictions between Hallock-Young and Salt Springs Roads for a $2.3 million replacement of the bridge carrying Route 45 over the Norfolk-Southern railroad tracks. That work should be finished in October.

In Warren, lane restrictions are in effect for a $5.2 million replacement and widening of the bridge carrying U.S. Route 422 (Parkman Road) over the Mahoning River. It is scheduled for completion in late October.

Interstate 80 between state Route 193 (Belmont Avenue) and Mount Everett Road in Liberty and Hubbard townships has daily lane restrictions for a $10.4 million project that will resurface that stretch of the interstate and widen and redeck the I-80 bridges over Sampson Road and Logan Way. That project is scheduled for completion by late October.

“I think they’re getting out ahead of it and getting these completed before they do become an issue, and they’ve got to start closing those [bridges] down,” said Gary Shaffer, an engineer with the Trumbull County Engineer’s Office, concerning ODOT’s work on I-80. That section of I-80 carries an average of 18,605 vehicles daily.

In Mercer County, Pa., the 1928-vintage landmark Iron Bridge carrying U.S. Route 19 over Neshannock Creek in Springfield Township is being replaced with a composite steel plate girder bridge. The $2.9 million project is slated for October completion.

Other Mercer County bridges being replaced are on state routes 58, 173 and 258, where detours are in effect.

In Lawrence County, Pa., lane closures have been imposed on Interstate 376 in Union and Neshannock townships in a $17.9 million road and bridge improvement project that includes repair and resurfacing of bridges.

The 1939-vintage steel-truss Division Street Bridge over the Mahoning River near the Vallourec Star pipe-making complex in Youngstown is scheduled for replacement at a cost of $2.8 million late next year.

With a structurally deficient rating of 4 on its superstructure, the 22-foot-wide bridge is “functionally obsolete” because it’s too narrow for the truck traffic in that area, explained Randy Partika, Mahoning County bridge engineer.

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