Aging Tinkers Creek bridge to fall in 2014

by Conner Howard | reporter Published:

TWINSBURG TOWNSHIP -- The Ravenna Road bridge over Tinkers Creek may be replaced in 2014 due to the bridge's age, poor condition and structural deficiencies.

Summit County engineers are considering two options for a new bridge at Routes 91 and 82, having already ruled out repairs as not cost efficient. One option would cost $2.5 million, the second, and early recommendation from the Summit County Engineer's Office, about $1.85 million, according to Geordi Kissos, Summit County project engineer.

The rebuild would be funded by the Summit County Engineer's Office and the Ohio Department of Transportation, with no charge to the township.

"We had an extensive preliminary engineering study," Kissos said Dec. 4. "The study investigated two different types of bridge replacements and a no-build alternative. A rehabilitation [provides] typically 30 years for a bridge and a replacement typically 50 years of service life. We ruled out ... [repairing] the existing bridge and we studied two different bridge types."

The two options include a $2.5 million culvert-style arch of soil with a roadway paved on top; and a $1.85 million galvanized steel beam bridge. Kissos said the steel beam bridge has been recommended by his team -- and also received a positive response from citizens during a Nov. 20 meeting at Township Hall.

The public comment period for the project expires Dec. 10, after which the project will progress to the final design phase.

"At the public meeting we had on Nov. 20, the [galvanized steel beam] bridge was well received by the general public," Kissos said. "Once we have comments from the public, we will proceed with [the rebuild]."

While both new bridge designs would provide a longer-term solution, the steel beam option is estimated to cost less than the culvert design by about $650,000.

"There's a considerable difference in cost," Kissos said. "We did our best we could to provide an aesthetically pleasing bridge but a wise use of taxpayer money."

Twinsburg Township Trustee Jim Balogh said that the trade-off for these savings could be a noisier bridge during times of heavy traffic.

"I think it'll be noisier than the other bridge that they had proposed, which is a series of concrete arches that were then filled with earth and it would be much more quiet if you were in that neighborhood," Balogh said. "That's just my observation."

Construction is expected to start in early May 2014 and end October of that year. Motorists will be able use Old Mill Road, and Routes 91 and 82 to bypass the construction during the six-month project.

The current bridge, which was first constructed as a one-lane bridge in 1917 and widened in 1932, will be torn down entirely. Balogh added that replacement of the bridge is long overdue.

"I think it's really good they're getting it done when they get it done because the bridge really was nearing the end of its life," Balogh said. "I'm concerned that it took this long to get this far and we're still a year away from this thing being done."

Email: choward@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9423

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