MEDINA TWP. — The opening of the new Bagdad Road bridge Wednesday morning marked the 200th bridge that was completed under a program between the Ohio Department of Transportation and local government partners.
“This is a monumental moment for us and the community,” ODOT Director Jerry Wray said to a crowd of about 50 people during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. “This program represents the safety, economy and quality of life of the community.”
The $752,000 project, completed by Mosser Construction Inc. of Fremont, included the rebuild and widening of the 85-foot-long bridge that crosses over a branch of the Rocky River. It was reconstructed with 4-foot shoulders on each side for safety purposes.
The road was closed for 90 days during construction.
“This project makes a difference for the people that live and drive on this road,” Wray said.
The Ohio Bridge Partnership Program, formed in partnership with the County Engineers Association of Ohio, has invested $130 million into 224 bridges across the state since its formation in 2013, ODOT said.
The partnership includes 11 bridges in Medina County, totaling about $5.1 million. ODOT said eight of the bridges are complete, and the remaining three will be completed within the next year.
“Investing in local bridge projects helps support economic development and makes Ohio’s roadways safer,” Ohio Sen. President Larry Obhof, R-Montville Township, said. “This particular program gets our local governments the help they need for important infrastructure improvements and directs resources back to our communities.”
“Local roads are the foundation of a community,” Wray said. “They let us go to school, church and activities. Most of the trips start and end on local roads. These bridges will impact millions of people over the decades to come.”
Created in 2013, the program allows local governments to apply for state and federal funding needed to repair or replace bridges in their area. Bridges that need repaired are identified using the following criteria:
n federal bridge definition of being more than 20 feet long;
n classified as “structurally deficient” — an engineering term given to bridges having maintenance; issues that, while safe for people to drive on, still require repair;
n open and carrying traffic.
“When one link is broken — whether it’s posted, closed or being repaired — the detours are a pain and cost time, money and affects the economy,” said Dean Ringle, executive director of the County Engineers Association of Ohio. “The links have to have strong chains.”
Ohio has more than 43,000 bridges that are inspected annually.
“Whether they are traveling on interstates, U.S. routes, state routes, county or township roads, motorists expect the bridges they cross to be safe,” Wray said. “This program helps address the needs of our local government partners by leveraging the resources of the state and federal government.”
Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.