Middletown seeking $800K grant to replace deck on local bridge

Middletown is applying for a state grant for nearly half the cost to replace the bridge deck for University Boulevard between Ohio 122 and 14th Street.

City Council Tuesday approved an emergency resolution to submit the grant application for $800,000 so that it could be considered Friday by the Ohio Public Works Commission District 10 for a preliminary review. OPWC District 10 will approve the final applications in November for Project Year 34.

The overall estimated cost to replace the bridge deck is $2.05 million, according to city officials.

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Scott Tadych, city public works director, said the deck of the bridge that goes over the Conrail railroad between Ohio 122 and 14th Street is in need of replacement. In his report, Tadych said replacing the bridge deck, including the railings, sidewalks and median, is needed due to the deterioration of the deck components and to inhibit further deterioration of the bridge’s superstructure and substructure components.

“The wearing surface of the deck is in poor condition, which has promoted deterioration to the remainder of the deck,” he said in his report.

In addition to replacing the bridge deck, railings, sidewalks and median, the approach slabs to the bridge would also be replaced, according to Tadych. He said construction is scheduled to run from August 2020 through October 2021.

However, if the city does not receive the $800,000 state grant, it has already programmed funding for the $2 million project in the proposed 2020 city budget.

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In a related matter, council approved an agreement on Aug. 20 to allow the city to participate in ODOT’s bridge inspection program at no cost to the city.

Tadych said ODOT offered to extend the bridge inspection program on municipal bridges statewide to help achieve full compliance with the Federal Highway Administration metrics. The last time the city agreed to opt-in to the program was in 2016.

He said if the city did not opt-in to the program, the city would have to hire a private consulting firm to do the bridge inspection work. However, the city would be responsible for any costs that are outside of the agreement with ODOT.

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