The City of Delaware is seeking funding for the reconstruction of the John Street bridge near Blue Limestone Park. Delaware City Council passed a resolution Monday authorizing City Manager Tom Homan to submit an application for emergency grant funding from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC).
During Monday’s meeting, Homan said the vehicular bridge, which leads into Blue Limestone Park, was severely damaged during the May flooding and has since been closed. The single-lane bridge stretches 21 feet long and services both vehicles and pedestrians entering the park from Elizabeth Street. Because the King Avenue entrance to the park is a signed one-way road, the damaged bridge also serves as the only exit from the park.
Flooding of the bridge occurred on May 19 when Delaware experienced heavy rainfall — as much as six inches — over a 12-hour span, causing the Delaware Run to rise above its bank and spill onto the bridge. The flooding resulted in severe damage to both the bridge’s pavement and underlying structure.
“Upon subsequent inspection after removal of damaged pavement, it was discovered that more substantial deterioration has occurred of the main deck members, prompting a closure of the structure pending additional evaluation,” the resolution stated. “It was the recommendation of the engineer that the bridge deck must be replaced.”
Plans for the bridge’s superstructure are currently being designed, with the goal of improvements coming in the first half of 2021.
The grant funding will require a local match, although Homan said he was not yet sure of the amount. OPWC could provide as much as half the total cost of the reconstruction, and with a preliminary estimate of $300,000 to $400,000 in total costs for the project, Homan speculated the city’s match of the funds could be approximately $200,000. The city’s share of the cost will be identified as part of its five-year Capital Improvement Plan, which is currently being reviewed.
The OPWC’s emergency program grant funding is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, and with the passing of the resolution on Monday, the city has allowed itself to submit an early application and increase its chances of securing the funding.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.