$1.8M project will rebuild Bechtle Avenue bridge over lagoon in 2019

Cars drive over and under the crumbling Bechtle Avenue bridge over Snyder Park Monday. Bill Lackey/Staff

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Cars drive over and under the crumbling Bechtle Avenue bridge over Snyder Park Monday. Bill Lackey/Staff

About $1.8 million in grant money will be spent to reconstruct the more than 55-year-old bridge on Bechtle Avenue over the Snyder Park lagoon in 2019.

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City commissioners are expected to approve multiple funding sources for the bridge at today’s meeting as part of the state’s municipal bridge program — the last one eligible for funding in the entire city, Springfield City Engineer Leo Shanayda said.

The bridge was constructed in 1961. All of the other bridges have a sufficiency rating too high to receive municipal bridge funds, Shanayda said.

About $1.5 million in money from the Federal Highway Administration and the Ohio Public Works Commission will be used for construction, while about $300,000 in other state funds will be used for design, he said.

“We’ll be replacing the bridge with no money from the city, which is big,” he said.

About $1.4 million was spent in 2014 to reconstruct the nearby bridge over Buck Creek.

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The bridges each see about 18,000 cars per day, according to public documents. That’s expected to increase to more than 22,000 vehicles by 2040.

The bridge over the lagoon is currently about 48 feet wide but will be expanded to about 52 feet to match the recently constructed bridge over Buck Creek.

The bridge over the lagoon will remain open during construction, Shanayda said, similar to the previous bridge project.

“We’ll keep traffic moving in both directions,” he said. “It will be restricted but it will be in both directions.”

While the bridge is aging, Shanayda said it’s not unsafe.

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“There are no restrictions in tonnage,” he said. “You can still walk on it.”

The project is expected to be bid at the end of 2018. Construction will begin in early 2019, he said.

The city has performed six bridge reconstruction projects using municipal bridge projects over the past 10 years, Shanayda said, including:

• Veteran’s Bridge

• Lowry Avenue bridge

• Bechtle Avenue bridge over Buck Creek

• Derr Road bridge near Ohio 334

• First Street bridge

• Sherman Avenue bridge.

More than $2.2 million in road construction projects are scheduled be completed this summer as the city of Springfield continues to repair its neighborhood streets.

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Earlier this month they approved a $1 million project for various road projects, including portions of Balsam Drive, Center Street and East Street. The road work is to be completed between Oct. 1 and mid-November, Shanayda said.

A paving project is also expected to be awarded at tonight’s meeting, which includes about $572,000 in paving that will be completed with the city’s permanent improvement money, including portions of Miracle Mile, Glendale Avenue and West Lansdowne Avenue. Those streets are expected to be completed later this year, he said.

Next year, the city will spend about $2 million on a neighborhood streets program as part of its commitments from a five-year income tax increase passed by voters this past spring.

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By the numbers

$1.8 million: Cost to reconstruct the Bechtle Avenue bridge over the lagoon.

18,000 cars: Average daily traffic on Bechtle Avenue in 2016.

56 years: Age of the bridge overlooking the lagoon.

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