Montgomery County has taken emergency action to replace the Stroop Road bridge in Kettering next year, which currently has two lanes closed and weight limits.
County commissioners on Tuesday approved a resolution determining that the bridge presents a disaster threat, owing to deficient box beams.
The strength problems were discovered inadvertently during a city of Kettering road resurfacing project.
The roughly $1.4 million bridge replacement is expected to begin in July and wrap up by the end of next year, potentially leading to traffic detours.
The severity of the structure’s deterioration was concerning, but it probably could have lasted five to 10 more years, local officials said.
“This one took us by surprise because the defects are in the tops of the concrete box beams, and the concrete has gone bad,” said Montgomery County Engineer Paul Gruner. “Hopefully it doesn’t deteriorate significantly between now and then.”
The deficient box beams were at the center of the structure, which was built in 1963. Closer scrutiny later on found additional deterioration elsewhere.
“Seeing this deterioration was not necessarily a surprise, but seeing how advanced it was I think came as a surprise to the county,” said Steven Bergstresser, Kettering’s engineer and assistant city manager
Officials said the tops are covered in asphalt, which hindered inspections.
The county engineer determined that no traffic should drive on the middle section of the bridge. The inside lanes in both direction have been closed.
The problem area has been secured with steel plates that were paved over. The bridge right now has a 15-ton weight restriction. Stroop Road handles 15,000 vehicles per day.
“This is one of the vital corridors in Kettering for transportation,” Bergstresser said.
The project will be about $1.3 million for construction and about $100,000 for engineering, officials said
The Ohio Public Works Commission committed emergency funding for the project, including a $300,000 grant and $100,000 loan.
Kettering likely will pitch in $450,000 or more for the project, and the county expects to pick up a little more than that.
The new bridge will be longer in order to meet flood plain requirements. The structure will likely to be fully closed during construction to speed up the timeline for completion, Gruner said. It may not be closed during the entire project.
Detours may direct traffic to Dorothy Lane or Woodman Drive.
The Stroop Road bridge is one of 520 that are the county’s responsibility. Kettering is home to about 35 bridges.