ELYRIA — The new Ford Road bridge being erected over the Black River near the entrance to the Lorain County Metro Parks Bur Oak Reservation should be finished by late fall or early winter.
That, according to Elyria City Engineer Tim Ujvari, and good weather and no major construction snags have put the $3.1 million project a bit ahead of schedule.
“The original construction schedule would have allowed them to finish the job in the spring of next year,” Ujvari said Wednesday. “It’s progressing very well. The two bridge pylons have been erected in the river and construction has begun on the embankment for the new roadway.”
The new two-lane span is going up just north of the old bridge, which dated to the 1950s.
“The old bridge is still standing, but when the new one is done, the old bridge will be removed,” Ujvari said.
The single-lane bridge has been closed since December 2008 when the span was found to be in such bad condition that it could not sustain the weight of traffic.
The new two-lane bridge is being built by J.D. Williamson, a Tallmadge company that specializes in smaller bridges.
The new bridge measures 263 feet long and will be at a higher elevation over the river than the existing span.
“The clearance will be sufficient to withstand flooding from a 100-year storm event,” Ujvari said.
The steel-framed bridge with concrete deck is being paid for with $2.5 million from the Ohio Department of Transportation bridge fund, as well as money from the Ohio Public Works Commission.
Work on the bridge abutment, which supports the bridge structure where it intersects with the road, should get under way in two to three weeks.
“There’s going to be noise down there as they’ll be driving pilings,” Ujvari said.
The single-lane span was a popular route for traffic from the northeast side of the city to reach the Midway Mall area.
“It’s a locally known shortcut, and people are going to be glad to have their shortcut back,” Ujvari said.
Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or email@example.com.