Abandoned bridge to be demolished

YOUNGSTOWN — The West Avenue Bridge, which has been abandoned for about 25 years, was awarded $606,375 through a state program to be demolished in 2025.

The West Avenue Bridge was among 24 aging bridges to get about $28 million in competitive grant funding in a Friday announcement from Gov. Mike DeWine and Jack Marchbanks, Ohio Department of Transportation director.

Funding from the Municipal Bridge Program comes primarily from the federal Infrastructure bill with money left over from previous rounds of the program.

Of the 24 bridges awarded funding Friday, four of them — including Youngstown’s West Avenue Bridge — will be demolished as they’ve been out of use for several years. Among the rest, 16 will be replaced and four will be repaired.

“Significant improvements are necessary to ensure that the structures do not become dangerous in the future,” according to DeWine’s office.

The West Avenue Bridge, near the city’s water department office on the West Side, was built nearly 100 years ago and goes across the Mahoning River.

The nearly 300-foot bridge was closed to vehicular traffic in the late 1990s though there are no blockades to stop anyone from traveling across it.

Charles Shasho, the city’s deputy director of public works, said his office “is extremely grateful to the state selection committee for their decision to assist the department in the removal of this blighted, unsafe structure.”

State Rep. Lauren McNally, D-Youngstown, said, “This bridge has been unsafe for more than 15 years, and there are better uses for this property.”

The work to demolish the Youngstown bridge will be done in 2025, according to DeWine’s office.

Projects can receive up to $2 million from the program.

Four bridges received the maximum $2 million allocation — two in Cleveland and one each in Lebanon and Toledo.

“Providing this funding is another example of how the state can work to support our communities to ensure that local transportation infrastructure is safe for those traveling on our roads and bridges,” DeWine said.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *


Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today