The Owens Community College Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to remove one of two pedestrian bridges that span Oregon Road because of its deteriorating condition.
Both bridges were built in the 1980s, and connect the college’s east and west campuses in Perrysburg. The southern bridge, built in 1983, was recently tested based on the Ohio Department of Transportation’s load rating methodology, and was found to be in critical condition, according to Michael McDonald, the college’s executive director of operations.
“The south bridge is slowly falling,” he said.
When it was constructed, the suspension portion of the bridge was set on abutments, and those blocks are falling toward the road. The cost to repair the bridge would likely be about $1 million, Mr. McDonald said, while removal could be as low as $50,000. Connecting Administration Hall on the west side with a parking lot on the east side, the pedestrian bridge isn’t as necessary as it once was because parking has been added on the west campus.
The north bridge will remain, and the college will consider a potential street level crossing, Mr. McDonald said. The Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments is planning a reconstruction of Oregon Road that could include a reduction of lanes, according to a resolution passed by board members.
The resolution waved competitive bidding for the bridge removal, citing an emergency situation.
Also on Tuesday, the board elected Dee Talmage as chairman and Mary Beth Hammond as vice chairman. The pair succeed Ed Nagle and Richard Rowe, Jr., as chairman and vice chairman, respectively. The board terms of both Mr. Nagle and Mr. Rowe both expired in 2016, but they were reappointed to the board last week by Gov. John Kasich. Their terms will run until Sept. 21, 2022.
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