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The Toledo Area Metroparks board of directors on Wednesday approved a contract with A.A. Boos & Sons Inc. of Oregon to rebuild the boardwalk and covered bridge that crosses the Ottawa River in Wildwood Preserve.
Park officials said the project will resolve a deterioration issue with the steel supports on the 1,678-foot, elevated, planked walkway that crosses a great expanse of flood plain and joins Wildwood’s two sections.
A.A. Boos submitted the lowest bid of the $1,437,879 and was awarded the contract. The project is expected to take 120 days to complete.
Dave Zenk, the park system’s deputy director, said the 14-foot-wide wood decking and wood and steel railings will be removed and the existing steel pilings in the ground will be encased in concrete columns.
He said precast concrete beams will be attached to the columns to support a concrete slab decking, replacing the wood surface and addressing a problem with people slipping on the boardwalk during wet conditions.
The covered bridge will be removed from the steel supports and set aside during construction. It will then be placed on top of the concrete decking.
Mr. Zenk said the steel was salvageable for reuse.
He said the deterioration is believed to have been caused by a reaction with the treated wood and possibly exacerbated by the wet conditions in the flood plain.
Park officials also looked at using wood and steel to rebuild the structure, but settled on the concrete construction because of its durability.
“This is the most cost-effective solution and will give us the longest-lasting result,” Mr. Zenk said.
“This concrete solution is considered to be a 50-year solution, and with appropriate maintenance it should last much longer,” he said.
A starting date for the project has not been determined, but park officials said the contractor would like to begin while the ground is still cold.
“We hope to reopen in July,” Mr. Zenk said. “That said, the work is in the floodplain and very weather dependent.”
The bridge and boardwalk opened in 2001 and was built at a cost of $642,000, with money coming from state grants, private donations, and Metroparks funds.
Contact Mark Reiter at: email@example.com or 419-724-6199.