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Published: Friday, 4/30/2010

Neowash span adds to U.S. 24 footprint

BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER

As construction of a new U.S. 24 around Waterville approaches the one-year mark, a project milestone will be reached Monday with the opening of the Neowash Road bridge over the freeway's right-of-way.

Neowash was one of the first local roads to be closed for the $64.4 million project to build the northernmost 6.5 miles of a 21.5-mile freeway between Maumee and Napoleon when it shut down early last summer. From its bridge, motorists soon will get at least a passing view of the ongoing construction as it proceeds toward a July, 2012, scheduled completion.

Mosser Construction Inc, and Beaver Excavating Inc., have completed 22 percent of their contract, which covers the stretch of freeway between existing U.S. 24 at Maumee's southwestern boundary and a point just east of Hertzfeld Road in Providence Township, said Theresa Pollick, an ODOT spokesman in Bowling Green.

The 9.9-mile section between Hertzfeld and Henry County Road 4A is 26 percent complete, while the westernmost 5.1 miles west of Road 4A - for which construction began in 2008 - is 63 percent finished, Ms. Pollick said. Both of those sections are being built by Miller Brothers Construction of Archbold.

Completion of the Neowash bridge allows Mosser and Beaver to start on another bridge nearby that will carry Neapolis-Waterville Road over the freeway. Once Neowash opens, Neapolis-Waterville will close between Noward and Waterville-Monclova Roads, with traffic detoured via Finzel Road, State Rt. 64, and

Waterville-Monclova.

Noward, which will be rerouted to tie into Neapolis-Waterville beyond either end of the new bridge, will close at a date still to be announced.

What is likely to be the biggest inconvenience associated with the U.S. 24 construction will start in mid-June, when State Rt. 295 is closed for construction of its new bridge and an interchange at the freeway in Providence Township. That closing will last for about a year.

While a temporary road was built for State Rt. 64 to bypass the construction of its bridge over the freeway, state officials deemed unnecessary such a temporary routing for Route 295 because it has relatively little truck traffic, Ms. Pollick said. A posted detour for Route 295 will use Route 64 and existing U.S. 24.

Also scheduled to close in mid-June will be Henry County Road 3, also for about a year of bridge construction in Liberty Township.

The next major reopening, meanwhile, will be Jeffers Road in Providence Township. It closed late last year for bridge construction and is scheduled to reopen in November.

Contact David Patch at:

dpatch@theblade.com

or 419-724-6094.



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