Thursday, Jul 20, 2017
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Education

Pedestrian bridge at Owens to be razed

Span over Oregon Road had deteriorated

An arched pedestrian bridge that stood for 34 years as an Owens Community College landmark and linked the school’s east and west campuses is slated to be torn down today.

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The south pedestrian bridge that spans Oregon Road and connects Owens Community College’s east and west campuses will be removed today.

THE BLADE/VANESSA MCCRAY
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Traffic along Oregon Road, which the bridge has spanned since 1983, will be rerouted through the Perrysburg Township campus while construction crews demolish the structure.

The southern bridge is one of the college’s two walkable overpasses straddling the road. Its deteriorating condition led college officials to call for its removal, which is scheduled to be done by Mosser Construction.

The $92,112 project includes the cost to take out the bridge using a crane and reroute fiber optic cable.

The bridge is connected to the Administration Hall on the west side and a parking lot on the east side.

The structure was collapsing slowly and engineers recommended its removal, said Michael McDonald, executive director for operations. Replacing it could cost about $1 million.

The entrance is barricaded and boarded up and a “danger” sign warns people not to use the bridge, which has been closed for months for safety reasons.

The bridge has some sentimental value among those who frequently traversed it to get to and from classes, so the college foundation requested that portions of the wood from behind the handrail will be salvaged “in small pieces as mementos,” Mr. McDonald said.

The group has not determined exactly how it will use or distribute the scraps, said college spokesman Jared Meade.

The north pedestrian bridge, which also crosses Oregon Road, was inspected, deemed structurally sound, and remains open. The college completed a $91,577 renovation of that bridge, including replacing the planking and sealing the wood structure, Mr. Meade said.

Planners are considering redoing Oregon Road and reducing the number of lanes.

The city of Northwood and Wood County are looking into a project that would reduce the four-lane road to a road with one lane in each direction and a shared turn lane, said Lance Dasher, a transportation planner with the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments.

The project also proposes a 10-foot path for walkers and bicyclists that would be separate from the road.

Mr. Dasher said the plan is still in the conceptual stage and subject to change. Construction wouldn’t begin until fiscal year 2021, he said.

Contact Vanessa McCray at: vmccray@theblade.com or 419-724-6065, or on Twitter @vanmccray.

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