Deteriorating Madison Twp. bridge to be replaced quicker than originally planned

New bridge may open in June, officials said.

Elk Creek Road near West Alexandria Road in Madison Twp. will be closed beginning next week to replace the deteriorating bridge, the $2 million project has been accelerated due to the structure’s poor condition.

The Butler County Engineer’s Office has announced Elk Creek Road will close 0.7 miles south of West Alexandria Road and 0.7 miles north of Ohio 122 in Madison Twp. for a complete bridge replacement beginning Monday.

The $2 million design-build project, initially scheduled for 2025, was accelerated to this year due to the poor condition of the existing bridge and newly available funding.

The engineer was able to secure 95% of the replacement cost with federal funding through the County Engineers Association of Ohio and BCEO provided the 5% match. Chief Deputy Engineer Dale Schwieterman told the Journal-News they were forced to make critical changes on the failing structure in 2020.

“We had to do kind of an emergency repair back then, to make repairs to the structure just to open back up,” he said. “Right now what we have today is one lane and traffic signals on each end to allow traffic to go across both ways but only way at a time, just to limit the loading on the bridge.”

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Otherwise he said they would have had to close it permanently — which would have caused a “pretty sizeable” detour — until funding came through to replace it. He said they were awarded the CEAO grant a couple years ago but it usually takes four or five years to actually get the cash.

He said the County Engineer’s Association had some other projects statewide fall off their funding radar so “they had a gap or some funding available and we were able to get it moved up from where it was originally scheduled.”

Brumbaugh Construction, Inc. is building the new bridge, which is tentatively scheduled to reopen in late June.

Schwieterman said Brumbaugh “has usually been pretty successful for us in the past as far as meeting the schedules we’ve agreed on” so baring any of the nagging post-pandemic issues with labor shortages and supply chain problems they’ll meet the deadline.

Madison Twp. Trustee Brian McGuire, who lives in that area, said the detour signs started going up on Tuesday and he’s “happy to see it get going” because “it gets used a lot.”

“I’m glad see it, actually they’re getting started a lot earlier than what they planned on...,” McGuire said. “Elk Creek Road is a little bit of a main artery road I guess you could say all through the township.”

During the project northbound Elk Creek Road drivers will detour east/southeast on Ohio122 and north/northwest on West Alexandria Road. Southbound traffic will reverse this route.

The state also has a project in the works for that area, a new roundabout at the accident prone intersection of Elk Creek Road and Ohio 122, but it isn’t scheduled to begin until next year.

Kathleen Fuller, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Transportation, said the $2.6 million roundabout project is still in development and construction should begin in the fall of 2024 or spring of 2025.

“We can’t wait to get that going too,” McGuire said. “That’s a very, very dangerous intersection.”

Drivers are encouraged to check the BCEO website PROJECTS MAP, as well as Facebook and Twitter @bceonews, for possible date and status changes concerning this and other closures/advisories.

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