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Defiance bridge project being considered
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 10:53 AM

DEFIANCE – The Ohio Department of Transportation will hire an engineering consulting firm to study repair options for the Clinton Street bridge (Ohio 15/18/66) in the city of Defiance over the Maumee River.

The consultant will be tasked with looking at a potential deck replacement, bridge rehabilitation or complete replacement of the structure which was originally constructed in 1932. The bridge deck was replaced in 1980.

The most recent inspection completed earlier this year showed that some of the bridge beams are deteriorating; however, the bridge piers and abutments, which comprise the support structure, are in good condition.

The Ohio Department of Transportation inspects all bridges statewide once per year.

“We are looking at what the best course of action would be as to whether to replace only the deck and beams or also address the piers and abutments,” said Kirk Slusher, Ohio Department of Transportation District 1 deputy director.

In addition to determining the overall condition of the bridge, the consultant will also study if the existing number of travel lanes is appropriate for traffic demand and if additional modes of transportation should be accommodated across the bridge, such as pedestrian and bike.

The study will also determine how construction should occur, either by closing the structure completely or by maintaining traffic, and if additional property would be needed.

“We’re working with officials from the city of Defiance to determine the parameters of the study and to learn what their long-range plans are which would need to be considered in any project undertaken,” said Slusher.

The project is initially estimated at $20 million. The proposed year for the project is currently 2019 but could vary depending upon the results of the study. It is anticipated that the majority of the funding for the project will come from state and federal sources.

It is expected that a consultant will be under contract by April of 2014 with the study commencing late that year.

“Although the bridge itself is not in immediate need of repair, now is the time to look at our options for assuring long-term, consistent access across the Maumee River for Defiance area residents,” said Slusher.