WATCH: Drone video shows Keowee Bridge coming apart

The Keowee Street Bridge over the Great Miami River is coming apart. Contractors have begun the process of demolishing the more than 80-year-old concrete and dirt-filled structure.

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Last month, about half of the bridge decking was jackhammered out, revealing tons dirt/slag fill underneath that sat atop the concrete arches of the bridge. Dump truck loads of the debris were hauled away.

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A construction bid of $8.8 million was awarded to Eagle Construction for a new bridge and the demolition.

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The Keowee St. Bridge is the last of the filled arch bridges in Montgomery County and carried about 20,000 cars daily between Harrison Township and the City of Dayton.

The bridge is structurally deficient, according to Montgomery County Engineer Paul Gruner.

“It’s in very poor condition. There’s pieces of concrete falling off onto the bike path and into the river. It needs to be done for the safety of the public.”

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The new bridge will be wider and is being designed to “accommodate the needs of the rowing community. The spans are longer. They’ll be able to pass two skulls underneath, side-by-side. The project will take about two years, or two construction seasons,” Gruner says.

Detours around the bridge have been posted for vehicle traffic since it closed in December and contractors have completed a detour for users of the Great Miami River Recreational Trail on the north side of the Keowee Street Bridge.

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