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Published: Monday, 2/18/2013

Bridge over Crane Creek to close

Replacement at Lucas-Ottawa line to reopen in late May

BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Closing State Rt. 2 for about three months to replace a bridge near the Lucas-Ottawa county line is preferable to having construction drag through the peak summer tourist season, the Ohio Department of Transportation says.

The bridge over Crane Creek, used by about 5,500 cars and 1,500 trucks on an average day, is scheduled to close a week from today, with its replacement due to open in late May. The bridge is between Veler Road, in Lucas County’s Jerusalem Township, and Krause Road, in Ottawa County’s Benton Township.

Shutting the bridge down entirely will be safer for both workers and motorists and get the work done faster, said Theresa Pollick, a spokesman at ODOT’s district office in Bowling Green.

Helping matters is “an efficient, parallel detour” using State Rts. 579 and 51 between Route 2 and I-280, the spokesman said, although Ottawa County Sheriff Stephen Levorchick said Route 579 isn’t as well-engineered as Route 2.

“I don’t foresee much of [a] problem there other than heavier traffic on a smaller roadway,” Sheriff Levorchick said.

Route 579’s lack of left-turn lanes at intersections and its passage through the village of Williston are its “predominant dangers,” he said. Sheriff’s deputies likely will have “a stepped-up presence” on that road during the detour.

To promote a timely reopening for the bridge, Ms. Pollick said ODOT’s $3.9 million contract with Kokosing Construction Co. of Westerville, Ohio, includes a $10,000 penalty for each day it doesn’t reopen after 90 days of closure. The 90-day period starting Feb. 25 would end May 25, the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.

Built in 1952, the bridge is rated in poor condition. Problems include concrete up to 4 inches deep flaking off its abutments, scouring beneath those abutments, severe wing wall deterioration, and a decaying deck and pavement surface, Ms. Pollick said.

The replacement bridge will be built with concrete box beams and a 6-inch concrete deck.

Once the bridge opens, ODOT plans to repave Route 2 between Bono and Duff-Washa Road, near the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant. The work, which will require flag zones, is expected to end in October.

Sheriff Levorchick agreed that closing Route 2 entirely for the bridge replacement work is the best choice.

“Construction has to happen,” he said, and while weighing its effect on safety and convenience, “you look for the lesser of two evils.”

Contact David Patch at: dpatch@theblade.com or 419-724-6094.



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