G Street Bridge demolition in Hamilton’s plans

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The city of Hamilton is seeking a $1 million grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation to demolish a bridge that’s been closed since 2008.

G Street Bridge, which once connected South G Street to Puthoff Street, has been an eyesore for the neighborhood a few blocks south of Main Street. It’s a hook-shaped bridge that ramps from South G Street onto Puthoff Street in order to clear the CSX railroad it crosses.

“The bridge itself scored a rating of three on a scale of one to 10, with four being considered poor,” said Allen Messer, assistant director of engineering. “It’s become a real nuisance to the people in the neighborhood.”

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The 1909-built bridge has been closed since 2008.

Before the bridge’s closure, the city, in 2005, completed a structure study to determine if it was feasible to replace the bridge. It was not.

In order to meet current standards, multiple properties on South G Street and Puthoff streets would have been needed and houses torn down. Because of the impact on residents and the high cost associated with a replacement structure, it was not pursued.

Recently, the Ohio Department of Transportation reached out to the city about its Municipal Bridge Fund, and Messer said the funding would cover 95 percent of the demolition project. The building is not eligible for replacement through this fund as it had been closed for more than five years.

“The city has looked at replacing it in the past, but because of the steep nature of what’s there today, and to meet today’s standards, it would have to be even higher to get the required railroad clearance. It would be more than twice as long as what you see there today,” Messer said.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

In addition to seeking $1 million from the Municipal Bridge Fund, Hamilton will also ask CSX to participate in the demolition project since, as Messer said, “they have some stake in this, too.”

CSX requires local jurisdictions to pay for them to review plans, and Hamilton will ask that they waive those fees, as well as pay the 5% local match and cover the cost of the flaggers during the project.

“They actually have done some work underneath it and lowered the rails, so in our opinion, they’re a partner in this endeavor,” Messer said.

In 2016, Hamilton officials had demolition drawings prepared and held a meeting with CSX officials to discuss the method of demolition. However, a demolition method was not agreed to, and the project was halted. Four years later, in 2020, CSX increased clearance under the bridge by lowering the rails by approximately 2 feet without permission from the city of Hamilton.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

After the bridge is razed, reconstruction of the roads will take place. The proposed final condition of the streets would be a hammerhead turnaround on the southwest side of the railroad, and a similar situation on the northeast side that will connect South G Street with Puthoff Street.

Messer said it’s his hope the ODOT funds would become available in 2023, but the project would not likely happen this year. The application is due by the end of February. As for the timeline of the demolition, Messer said, “It’s really hard to say how long it’ll take.”

Legislation to apply for the funds is expected to be presented to City Council next month.


See more photo of the current state of the G Street bridge. journal-news.com

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