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Pair of Ohio ARRA Projects Completed in Quick Succession

Wed November 10, 2010 - Midwest Edition
Linda J. Hutchinson


Terrace Construction crews work on decking the State Route 301 bridge over Interstate 71.
Terrace Construction crews work on decking the State Route 301 bridge over Interstate 71.
Terrace Construction crews work on decking the State Route 301 bridge over Interstate 71. Workers from Wolf Creek Engineering work on the bridge deck on State Route 539.

In six months, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has completed two American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funded bridge rehabilitation projects that were on nine-month completion schedules. Both are in Wayne county in north central Ohio.

ODOT maintains an aggressive bridge inspection schedule and places projects on the board to correct deficiencies and structural obsolescence in a timely manner. One project — the S.R. 301 Bridge Rehabilitation Project — was also chosen using the Community Economic Distress Factor. Wayne County’s unemployment rate was 5.26 percent, with an average income of $28,020.

The cost of the two projects was $3,050,326. Federal stimulus investment covered $2,845,390. Both bridges were opened to traffic ahead of schedule.

The projects were scheduled to run concurrently, each with a 135-day detour, beginning in late April and early May.

“Prior to the stimulus, our intent was to have one done one year and then the other done the next with alternating detours,” said ODOT District 3 Highway Management Administrator Tim Farley before construction began. “But since we moved them forward to get them built this year, we’re going to have a detour that’s neither of these.”

Farley said the projects were included in this year’s plan because they were “shovel ready,” which has a direct bearing on which projects are chosen for funding under ARRA. Engineering designs for both projects were completed some years ago.

“There’s a very small window to get these projects programmed and in the pipeline. We have the discretion of choosing which projects to go with, and these two happen to be projects that were sitting on our shelves. They were good projects that we could get down to Columbus to sell,” said Farley.

Material availability was the reason cited for the nine-month project duration. Bridge beams had to be fabricated for both projects.

“Creating construction jobs is an important part of the Stimulus Program,” said ODOT District 3 Deputy Director John Hart. “Rebuilding the state’s infrastructure for current and future economic growth opportunities is also important for Ohio. I-71 is the state’s third most-used freight corridor, so we need to maintain these bridges and interchanges along the corridor to support commerce throughout the region.”

Critical to nearby businesses in West Salem and those communities along the U.S. 42 corridor in Ashland, Medina, Lorain, and Wayne counties, the S.R. 301 bridge over I-71 connects rail and inter-modal transportation of goods and materials to and from Columbus and southern Ohio. Total project cost was estimated to be $1,592,026, of which $1,519,660 was funded by ARRA.

S.R. 301 is a north–south state highway beginning at S.R. 302 at West Salem and ending at U.S. 6 in the town of Sheffield Lake.

The S.R. 301 Bridge Rehabilitation Project (5690) was designed to correct deficiencies found in the 302-ft. (92 m) three-span bridge that crosses over six lanes of I-71. The bridge deck is 9,289 sq. ft. (7,766.7 sq m) The newly rehabilitated bridge opened to traffic on Sept. 14.

The contract was awarded in July 2009 to contractor Terrace Construction Co. Inc. of Cleveland, Ohio, and was completed Oct 15.

Also in Wayne County, and a short distance from the S.R. 301 project, is the S.R. 539 Bridge Deck Replacement (PID 18242) project. This project was selected for ARRA funding because of it’s economic development opportunities to Ashland, Medina and Wayne counties and its proximity to “both major north/south routes and east/west corridors in Ohio,” according to ODOT district 3 public information officer Brian Stacy.

S.R. 539 is a short north–south highway which begins at S.R. 302 south of Congress and ends at S.R. 301 in West Salem.

The S.R. 539 bridge required rehabilitation of 282 ft. (86 m) of decking, located between Ruff Road and Palmer Road.

The contractor is Wolf Creek Engineering & Contracting of Akron, Ohio. Total project cost was $1,458,300, with federal stimulus funding of $1,325,730. The contract was sold in August 2009 and was completed in October.

The right lanes of I-71, both north and southbound between mile markers 196 and 199, closed for work as part of the State Route 301 and State Route 539 bridge rehabilitation projects. Two lanes of traffic were maintained at all times in each direction. The posted detour route for both projects included taking S.R 604 to U.S. 42.

Average daily traffic (ADT) counts on I-71 in the proximity of these two projects is 44,470. Approximately 1,590 vehicles per day use the S.R. 539 bridge.

These two projects are among 33 ARRA projects ODOT district 3 will complete in north central Ohio for a total estimated cost of $55 million.

“The program this year is about as ambitious as it’s ever been,” said Farley at the April kickoff event hosted by ODOT.

For more information contact: The District 3 Public Information Office at 419/207-7182 or D03.PIO@dot.state.oh.us