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Public has time to comment on bridge repairs

YOUNGSTOWN — The Mahoning County Engineer’s Office wants to hear comments from the public before it begins a $1.8 million project to rehabilitate four county bridges in Youngstown and Lowellville.

The project could begin in 2022.

In all four cases, the existing deteriorated structure must be rehabilitated because of its structural rating.

“To ensure the proposed project is viable and successful, the Mahoning County engineer is seeking comments from the public about the social, environmental and economic impacts of this proposed project. Environmental impacts include those involving archeological, architectural and ecological resources, regulated materials and the general location of the project,” the notice announcing the need for public comments states.

“The Mahoning County Engineer also requests information regarding the presence of any known cultural resources in the vicinity of the project including prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, historic bridges, historic buildings, landmarks and districts.”

The bridges being considered for the project are:

• Oak Street Extension Bridge over Dry Run in Youngstown. The original structure was built in 1956. The bridge will be closed to traffic for a maximum of 45 days and the official detour route will utilize McCartney Road (U.S. Route 422) and Coitsville-Hubbard Road (state Route 616);

• Old Furnace Road Bridge over Mill Creek in Youngstown. The original structure was built in 1974. The bridge will be closed to traffic for a maximum of 45 days and the official detour route for this closure will utilize Glenwood Avenue, Canfield Road (state Route 62) and Bears Den Road. Access to the Artists Trail, Pioneer Pavilion and parking lot located on the west side of the bridge and the Slippery Rock Trail, East Cohasset and West Cohasset Trails, located on the east side of the bridge, and all other Mill Creek Park facilities will be maintained throughout the project;

• Dewey Avenue Bridge over Gibson Run in Youngstown. The original structure was built in 1958. The bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic for a maximum of 45 days and the official detour route for this closure will utilize Market Street (state Route 7), East Indianola Avenue and South Avenue;

• First Street Bridge over Mahoning River in Lowellville. The original structure was built in 1966. Bi-directional traffic will be maintained on one lane of the bridge at all times through use of temporary traffic signals.

“Engineers decided what bridges to work on based on their yearly inspections (general appraisal), the load that they can safely carry (structural rating) and overall health of the bridge (sufficiency rating). Some bridges get to a point where complete replacement is needed while others can have different parts of the bridge rehabbed to bring their ratings up,” Durbin stated in an email. “Most of this work involves cleaning and repainting the steel parts, replacing expansion joints and items that show normal wear and tear and patching concrete.”

Durbin said the weight limits on the bridges aren’t likely to change.

“These bridges are all at a point where rehabilitation will improve their general appraisal and increase their sufficiency rating. None of the bridge are posted for reduced weight limits so they all are still structurally strong enough to carry the required Ohio Legal Loads,” Durbin stated.

The First Street bridge needs to be cleaned and painted, the concrete needs patched, the joints need replaced, the asphalt needs milled and filled. and the abandoned lighting brackets need to be removed.

On the Oak Street bridge, engineers will replace expansion joints; clean abutment seats; reset abutment rocker bearings; patch concrete at substructures; clean clogged scuppers; replace missing cross frames; paint steel railing, stringers and bearings; remove and replace the top few inches of delaminated and unsound areas of concrete deck by saw cutting and patching; seal substructure concrete surfaces; and seal other parts of the structure.

On the Old Furnance Road bridge, engineers will remove and replace expansion joints with new joint armor and seals; clean abutment beam seats; refurbish and reset abutment bearings; patch concrete at abutments; paint steel stringers and bearings; overlay concrete deck; and seal substructure concrete surfaces, sidewalks and deck fascia with an epoxy-urethane sealer.

For the Dewey Avenue bridge, engineers will remove and replace expansion joints by removing the top 18 inches of the abutment backwall, as well as two feet of the approach slab and deck end and replace the expansion joint armor and strip seal; clean beam seats; refurbish and reset abutment bearings; clean and paint bearings, steel beams and railing; and overlay concrete deck.

rfox@tribtoday.com

Share your thoughts

Questions and comments about the proposed bridge rehabilitations should be sent by Friday to Bob Durbin, deputy engineer. He can be reached at bdurbin@mahoning countyoh.gov, 330-799-1581, or Mr. Bob Durbin, Deputy Engineer, 940 Bears Den Road, Youngstown, OH 44511.