Leetonia bridge replacement project updated

LEETONIA — The Washington Street bridge replacement is expected to be completed in the Ohio Department of Transportation’s 2020 fiscal year.

Jon Vollnogle of Howells and Baird civil engineers told village council last week the project has been included in ODOT’s 2020 fiscal year, which runs from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. The project will replace the single lane bridge over Cherry Valley Run with a two-lane one.

Vollnogle reported he has received the final scope of services. He said the environmental aspects could increase project cost, noting the creek running under the bridge is home to endangered mussels and the replacement could have an affect on the trailhead nearby, both issues requiring special care.

As a result of the projected increase in costs, the village will unlikely be able to secure an environmental consultant for the project, he said. Howells and Baird had originally planned on splitting the project into two bids for different parts, but ODOT wants the project in one contract, meaning there will be no extra money to spend beyond the department’s approved cost, Vollnogle said.

The total estimated project cost is $542, 220.87. ODOT has committed $375,777 through the Municipal Bridge Program, while the Columbiana County Engineer’s Office’s will provide $100,000 through the Local Transportation Improvement Program. That leaves the village responsible for $66,443.87; however, Vollnogle said there may be additional funds available through the Ohio Public Works Commission.

Since the project is not included in ODOT’s plans until the 2020 fiscal year, the village can use the next year and half for environmental studies and engineering, Vollnogle said.

After questioning from council, Vollnogle said the bridge is currently adequate for traffic, but acknowledged it will have to be monitored to determine if it needs to be closed any time before the project begins.