November 27, 2014

Elyria
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NOACA pumping $2.5 million into Lorain County

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency will funnel more than $2.5 million into Lorain County to fund the repair of two bridges as well as help with highway maintenance.

The projects, which will include bridge deck replacement, noise wall panel replacement, signal maintenance and repair, median barrier rail construction and bridge repairs, are part of Connects 2030, NOACA’s long-range transportation plan.

“These repairs to aging roads and bridges will help keep Northeast Ohio’s transportation network in good and safe operating condition,” said NOACA executive director Howard R. Maier.

Work will be completed in the upcoming construction year.

An estimated $1.94 million likely will be awarded to fund the repair of twin bridges on state Route 57 just north of Grafton Road in Eaton Township. The award includes engineering, design and construction costs with 80 percent of the funding coming from federal funds and the Ohio Department of Transportation picking up the remainder.

Another $613,600 likely will be awarded to the city of Lorain to fund the repair of a bridge on state Route 58, just east of Nantucket Drive. The project is being funded with money from ODOT and the state surface transportation program.

In Elyria, the closed Ford Road bridge was not included in this funding cycle, but Mayor Bill Grace said the city is still exploring funding options.

ODOT representatives surveyed the bridge recently and are working with the city to determine what funding source would be best for the project. The one-lane bridge, which spans the Black River and has been a crossing point between Midway Boulevard and Gulf Road since 1953, closed in December 2008 because of poor condition and needs nearly $1 million in repairs.

City officials have said the repair costs could increase because state regulations require bridges to be two-lane bridges, which means the Ford Road bridge will have to be rebuilt.

Grace said the city will decide soon which funding source to go after: a loan from future state Issue 2 funds or a special state municipal bridge fund.

The repairs needed by the steel truss bridge run the gamut and include several deficiencies that were noted by engineers the last time the bridge was inspected, in early 2008. At that time, the report noted that its floor is in poor condition.

The asphalt is wearing, with numerous chips and cracks. Also, the deck expansion joints leak onto the steel structure, and loose joints exaggerate a vehicle’s impact on the bridge, among other things. The report listed 16 recommendations to repair the bridge.

NOACA also approved funding to replace rumble pavement strips on area highways as well as install energy-efficient traffic signals.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.