Two Allen County bridges lose weight limits, open to all traffic

By Craig Kelly -

LIMA — Work is continuing on upgrading the bridge infrastructure in Allen County, with two bridges no longer carrying weight limits.

Allen County Commissioners voted Thursday to remove a 10-ton load limit on the Hook-Waltz Road bridge in Monroe Township as well as a 20-ton load limit on the Zurmehly Road bridge in Shawnee Township. Both were recently replaced, with funding coming from two different sources, according to Allen County Engineer Brion Rhodes.

“It’s one of the most important jobs we have, to not only inspect, but also maintain the bridges in Allen County,” he said. “For Zurmehly Road, we used [Ohio Public Works Commission] funding on that. For Hook-Waltz Road, the Ohio Bridge Partnership paid for that.”

The Zurmehly Road bridge had been closed since June for replacement after the 66-year-old bridge was deemed unsafe. The Hook-Waltz Road bridge is one of eight in the county funded through the Ohio Bridge Partnership, a 2013 initiative that invested $120 million to repair or replace 200 bridges in the state.

Out of the 378 bridges managed by the county engineer, 12 are within the city of Lima. One of them, the bridge on Central Avenue near Elm Street, will soon undergo a bridge deck replacement after commissioners approved a contract with Defiance-based R.G. Zachrich Construction Inc. to handle the replacement. The company submitted the lowest bid for the project at $778,424.04, which is still higher than the original engineer’s estimate but still within a 10 percent acceptable range.

“We’ll be using Local Public Agency funding through [the Ohio Department of Transporation] for that,” Rhodes said. “It’s an 80-20 split, so we’ll be responsible for 20 percent of the $778,000 needed to replace that bridge.”

That project is expected to begin next year.

By Craig Kelly

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.

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