November 26, 2014

Elyria
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Spans over Black River, Ford Road targeted for future repair projects

A car drives along a now-closed section of Ford Road in Elyria when it was open to traffic in the autumn of 2007. Elyria city officials said a closed one-lane span of the road could be replaced by a two-lane structure, but land must be acquired before the $3.2 million project can go forward. (Chronicle file photo)

A car drives along a now-closed section of Ford Road in Elyria when it was open to traffic in the autumn of 2007. Elyria city officials said a closed one-lane span of the road could be replaced by a two-lane structure, but land must be acquired before the $3.2 million project can go forward. (Chronicle file photo)

ELYRIA — The Ohio Department of Transportation has made travel quite a challenge along Gulf Road as it replaced the bridge over Interstate 90.

Next year, the proposed replacement of the twin Interstate 90 bridges over the Black River and Ford Road could affect traffic again.
ODOT is seeking comment on a project that is set to begin in March 2012 and could last more than 18 months.

The project would include replacement of the two bridges that run through the Black River Reservation. The project will at times impact the Bridgeway Trail and park access, however ODOT has said it will restrict all construction activity to the night so access to the park can be maintained during the day.

That might not be the only bridge being replaced in the area.

Construction to replace the city-owned Ford Road bridge, which has been closed for nearly two years, also could start next year. City Engineer Mukund Moghe said the project is in the design phase with engineers working on the look and structure of a two-lane bridge.

The closed bridge is one lane.

“We have ODOT approval to align the bridge, and we hope to get it started next year,” Moghe said. “The only issue is we have to acquire some land from the Lorain County Metro Parks to align the bridge and that has to go through a federal approval process that could take up to a year. We have already started the process, but we foresee that being our only delay to the problem, if there is one.”

Money was once an issue that kept the city from moving forward with the problem. But Moghe said ODOT has approved $2.5 million in funding to the city with the city share of the project roughly $700,000.

The city is seeking a state loan from the money it receives in gasoline fees to cover its share. The total cost of the project is $3.2 million.

An initial draft design of the Ford Road bridge could be presented to the city in a couple of months, Moghe said.

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