A busy half-mile stretch of East Stroop Road closed shortly after 9 a.m. and is scheduled to remain closed through the end of 2017 for a bridge replacement.
Stroop is closed in both directions between Woodman Drive and Glenheath Drive, except for local side-street access, and will be completely closed at the bridge itself, over the Little Beaver Creek. A marked detour will direct drivers to use Woodman Drive and Dorothy Lane to get around the project.
FIRST STORY: Bridge damage discovered in 2016
“In the middle of the bridge, which has been closed to traffic (in the current configuration), the beams have been compromised,” Kettering Assistant City Manager Steve Bergstresser said. “They can’t carry any load, so you can’t shift traffic back and forth like you normally would on a bridge replacement.”
Bergstresser said by closing the entire bridge, rather than one side at a time, the project will get done faster and at lower cost. The Montgomery County Engineer’s office approved the $1.05 million project bid from George Igel & Co.
The Ohio Public Works Commission is contributing a $300,000 grant and $100,000 loan, with the city and county splitting the remaining $605,000, according to Bergstresser.
The bridge carries about 15,000 cars per day, according to Montgomery County Engineer Paul Gruner. His office said repairing the bridge is not an option because current flood plain regulations require a longer bridge. The existing 33-foot span will be replaced by a 41-foot reinforced concrete structure.
The closure will affect eastbound traffic toward The Greene, the Kettering Recreation Complex and two Kettering City Schools, as well as westbound traffic toward the Wilmington Pike shopping corridor. Kettering schools spokeswoman Kari Basson said the district reworked most bus routes over the summer in anticipation of the project, meaning this week will bring very little change.
Bergstresser said Kettering police will monitor nearby side streets for speeding as people get around the project.
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There is still a possibility the start date could change slightly, depending on weather from Hurricane Irma.
Deterioration in the bridge was discovered last year while contractors for the city of Kettering were repaving Stroop. Since then, traffic has been reduced to one lane in each direction at the bridge site, causing frequent merging problems.
Once the bridge is replaced, Stroop Road will go back to two lanes in each direction.