Kettering polls residents on Ridgeway Bridge replacement options

Kettering officials say a deteriorating bridge has to go, but residents are split on what, if anything, they want to replace it.

The 52-year-old Ridgeway Road Bridge is in need of replacement due to wear and tear over the years, according to the city. The bridge crosses Dorothy Lane between Far Hills Avenue and Southern Boulevard. In 2005, the city spent $500,000 to repair the bridge, but those repairs are no longer considered sufficient.

The city is using an online survey to poll residents on three potential options for future investment in the bridge:

  • Replace the bridge, at a cost of between $1.5 and $2 million, with a similar design that would be accessible to both motorists and pedestrians;
  • Replace it with a pedestrian bridge for an estimated $750,000; or
  • Tear the bridge down with no replacement of any kind for $250,000.

Dan and Megan Dyer, who have lived on Ridgeway Road four years, told this news organization they voted for the pedestrian-only option after a lot of thought. They cited rising taxes in the city and increased traffic near their home as two reasons against spending the money to keep the bridge open to motorists.

“It’s an extremely busy road, there’s a lot of kids,” Megan Dyer said.

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Dan Dyer added: “Foot traffic clearly is going way up, so removing the bridge should not be an option because that’s just going to push people across Dorothy, and that’s not going to be safe.”

Traffic count numbers from May 2017 indicate about 900 vehicles cross the Ridgeway Road Bridge each day. For comparison, nearly 15,000 vehicles cross the Stroop Road Bridge now under construction for an estimated $1.3 million.

City council members are expected to take the results of the survey into consideration when they vote on the best way to replace the bridge. If the decision is made to replace the bridge, the city would seek out grant funding to offset costs to residents.

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