Delaware County commissioners have approved a $4.65 million road project that will include replacement of a bridge over the Olentangy River along Panhandle Road on the north side of Delaware.
Chief Deputy Engineer Rob Riley said the project is scheduled to begin in January and will take about eight months to complete.
“It will replace the existing arch bridge with a new steel girder bridge that will be significantly wider,” Riley told commissioners Monday. “It will be a four-lane bridge to allow for future traffic growth in that area.”
The project will also include 225 feet of approach work and an updated traffic signal at the intersection of Panhandle Road and U.S. 23. Riley said the project is scheduled to be completed by September 2016.
According to Riley, the bridge will be closed for about seven months during the construction project. He told commissioners the bridge is nearly a century old.
“This is one of our few structurally deficient bridges, which means it’s in poor enough condition that it really does need attention,” Riley said. “It was actually widened and rehabilitated back in the 1970s. It’s reached the end of its service life. The beams that were placed on top of the older structure are deteriorating and will become a problem. We’ve done a number of repairs to it. I’ve been here 18 years and it seems like once a year we’re out there doing something to that bridge.”
Riley said no funding from the Ohio Department of Transportation is available for the project.
Bids for the project are being accepted electronically through www.bidexpress.com. The deadline to submit bids is 10 a.m. Nov. 24.
Also during Monday’s meeting, commissioners welcomed a delegation from Sakata, Japan, which is visiting Delaware County as part of an exchange program between the city of Delaware and Sakata. Middle school students from the two municipalities have been exchanging tours and correspondence for the last 16 years, according to Commission President Gary Merrell.
Members of the Sakata city administration, council and education board, representatives of the Tohoku University of Community Service and Science, and chaperones for the student group met with county commissioners on Monday. They exchanged gifts and posed for photographs at the beginning of the meeting. The Japanese delegation then embarked on a tour of the county offices.
Andrew Carter can be reached at 740-413-0902 and on Twitter @AndrewCarterDG.