I-71 closed again Sunday for stubborn Warren County bridge demolition

Published: Thursday, May 18, 2017 @ 10:49 AM


            The third time was not quite the charm that ODOT officials were expecting as contractors tried again to take down the remaining steel structure of the Jeremiah-Morrow Bridge last weekend. For the third day, I-71 was shut down on a Sunday morning to allow explosive demolition work to be performed next to new concrete bridges that carry traffic over the Little Miami River Valley in Warren County. One stubborn steel expanse on the north side of the old bridge failed to collapse in the last round of explosive charges, leaving large pieces of the structure intact and still attached to the concrete piers. Chunks of steel structure from the south side of the bridge are being trucked away daily. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
The third time was not quite the charm that ODOT officials were expecting as contractors tried again to take down the remaining steel structure of the Jeremiah-Morrow Bridge last weekend. For the third day, I-71 was shut down on a Sunday morning to allow explosive demolition work to be performed next to new concrete bridges that carry traffic over the Little Miami River Valley in Warren County. One stubborn steel expanse on the north side of the old bridge failed to collapse in the last round of explosive charges, leaving large pieces of the structure intact and still attached to the concrete piers. Chunks of steel structure from the south side of the bridge are being trucked away daily. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Road closures are planned again on Sunday on and around the section of Interstate 71 across the Little Miami River on the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge.

It would be the fourth time motorists and others are inconvenienced to complete demolition of the old Jeremiah Morrow Bridge in Warren County.

RELATED: Third implosion effort incomplete

“Obviously nobody planned on this all happening,” Matt Bruning, spokesman for ODOT said earlier this week.

Southbound I-71 will be closed to traffic between the Ohio 73 and Ohio 48 exits from 6 a.m. until 11 a.m. Sunday, May 21. The detour uses Ohio 73, U.S. 42 and Ohio 48.

RELATED: Third implosion in four weeks

On northbound I-71, there will be intermittent short-term full closures between Ohio 73 and Ohio 48, using the same detour in reverse, from 6 a.m. until 11 a.m.

Also during this time, traffic on the Little Miami Scenic River and Trail will not be permitted between Wilmington Road and Ohio 350. North- and south-bound rest areas will be closed during this time.

RELATED: Bridge implosion misfires

Law enforcement and construction personnel will be on site at various access points to the interstate, river and scenic trail to enforce these restrictions.

Also a temporary flight restriction will be in place in a half-mile horizontal radius and 3,000 feet from the bridge and between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and unmanned aircraft systems will not be permit in the restricted area. Unmanned are prohibited in the restricted area.

RELATED: Drone’s eye view of the remaining section

WATCH: Section of Jeremiah Morrow Bridge is imploded

ODOT met this week with the contractor about what to do with the piece that so far has not been demolished — despite four tries in three of the last four weeks.

» EARLIER: I-71 bridge, Ohio’s tallest, nears completion after 6 years, $104M

The fourth explosive charges, set last Sunday, came on the third day designated for implosion of the old southbound span of the bridge over Interstate 71 and the little Miami River. This attempt brought down the southern part of the southernmost piece of the southbound span.

But the north side of the remaining steel landed on the cement pier for the old bridge.

Keowee Street detours delayed, but bridge will close for almost 2 years

Published: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 @ 3:48 PM

The Keowee Street Bridge over the Great Miami River will close in December, as soon as the new Helena Street Bridge is opened, says Montgomery County Engineer Paul Gruner. A construction bid of $8.8 million has been awarded to Eagle Construction for a new bridge and demolition of the existing bridge will take place first. The Keowee St. Bridge is the last of the filled arch bridges in Montgomery County and carries about 20,000 cars daily between Harrison Township and the City of Dayton. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Ty Greenlees
The Keowee Street Bridge over the Great Miami River will close in December, as soon as the new Helena Street Bridge is opened, says Montgomery County Engineer Paul Gruner. A construction bid of $8.8 million has been awarded to Eagle Construction for a new bridge and demolition of the existing bridge will take place first. The Keowee St. Bridge is the last of the filled arch bridges in Montgomery County and carries about 20,000 cars daily between Harrison Township and the City of Dayton. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Ty Greenlees)

Replacement of the Keowee Street bridge over the Great Miami River will stymie traffic between Dayton and Harrison Twp. and impact some area businesses for almost two years beginning within weeks. 

“It’s never a good situation, but it’s one where the bridge needs to be redone,” said Jeff Davis, general manager of J&T Dayton Sandblasting Services that sits in Harrison Twp. on a block of North Dixie Drive that will be closed for months.

“It’s a necessary evil,” he said.

Detours will be in place until at least September 2019 for replacement of the deteriorating, 86-year-old bridge — the final one of its kind found locally, said Montgomery County Engineer Paul Gruner.

“It’s the last of the filled-arch bridges in the city of Dayton,” Gruner said. “They were very labor intensive. You really can’t afford to rebuild them like this in the present time.”

MORE: Self-driving vehicles: Are they a threat to Dayton jobs?

In addition to the 20,000 vehicle drivers who cross the bridge daily between Dayton and Harrison Twp., users of the Great Miami River Recreational Trail and paddlers on the river will also be confronted with detours and portages.

The date the Keowee Street bridge will close has been revised to Dec. 18 at the earliest, or until the new Helena Street bridge nearby reopens, according to the county. Detours from the Helena Street bridge — set to open soon — have routed traffic over the Keowee Street bridge during that year-long construction project.

RELATED: Dayton bridge project part of $175M investment

Patrons of Ben’s Batteries in Harrison Twp. will still be able to reach the business, but owner Robert Kucharski said he’s not entirely sure how.

“North Dixie will be closed to through traffic, but you should still be able to get here. That’s what I’m hoping,” he said. “If they can’t get here at all, I might as well shut the doors. That’s not going to be good.”

When traffic starts flowing again in late 2019, it will cross a new 550-foot long, pre-stressed concrete I-girder structure, Gruner said.

“It’s not a real fancy bridge, but it will be a nice looking bridge when it’s finished,” he said.

MUST-WATCH VIDEO: 6 times bridges or buildings have been imploded in southwest Ohio

Sidewalks, now six-and-a-half-feet wide, will be widened to 10 feet on the new five-lane bridge. The center pier will feature overlooks on each side of the bridge with girders painted medium blue.

Along with neighboring residents and businesses, Gruner said the department also worked on the design with the region’s rowing community, leading to wider spans that will allow two side-by-side sculls to pass underneath.

The contractor, Eagle Bridge Company in Sidney, is already prepping for demolition and working on the bikeway and river portages, Gruner said.

MORE: Major Kettering road to close in both directions for months

Total construction engineering and construction costs on the project total about $9.3 million, more than 70 percent coming from federal bridge and surface transportation funding. About $1 million was additionally spent on design engineering and right-of-way acquisition, according to the engineer’s office.

In September, the county opened a new $7.3 million bridge on Harshman Road over the Mad River near the entrance to Eastwood MetroPark. After the Keowee Street bridge, the next big Montgomery County bridge project will the the Third Street bridge in Dayton that will span about 700 feet over the Great Miami River with a projected cost of $20 million, Gruner said.

Traffic deaths keep rising in US, but distracted driving fatalities fall

Published: Sunday, October 08, 2017 @ 12:21 PM

Channel 2's Consumer Advisor explains the easy way you can help bring that number down.

WASHINGTON — Traffic fatalities in the U.S. jumped for the second-straight year in 2016 despite a dip in crash deaths linked to distracted driving, according to data released by federal highway safety regulators.

Some 37,461 people died in vehicle collisions in 2016, the highest annual tally since 2007, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration figures. The 5.6 percent rise in traffic deaths last year came after an 8.4 percent spike in 2015, which was the largest annual increase since the mid-1960s.

Fatalities from distracted drivers, such as those texting, fell 2.2 percent last year, NHTSA reported Friday. Deaths linked to other risky behaviors such as speeding, drunken driving and not wearing seat belts contributed to an overall gain in fatalities, the agency said. Drunken driving was blamed for the most deaths.

The agency “continues to promote vehicle technologies that hold the potential to reduce the number of crashes and save thousands of lives every year,” it said in a statement. They “may eventually help reduce or eliminate human error and the mistakes that drivers make behind the wheel.”

» Mom’s viral photo of crash aftermath serves as car seat safety reminder

Another increase in the number of miles driven by American motorists last year helps explain some but not all of the increase in crash deaths. Total vehicle miles traveled increased 2.2 percent last year while the fatality rate grew 2.6 percent to 1.18 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, according to the agency. Miles driven gained 2.3 percent in 2015.

Regulators have sounded the alarm about the rising safety risks on the roads and highways, which comes after a downward trend for the last decade. The gains have also fueled interest on Capitol Hill in self-driving vehicles as a way to curb deadly crashes, with lawmakers advancing legislation to speed autonomous vehicle deployment.

NHTSA also found that pedestrian, motorcyclist and bicyclist deaths also rose in 2016. Non-vehicle occupants accounted for nearly a third of all crash fatalities last year, up from roughly 1 in 4 traffic deaths in 2007.

(With assistance from Lisa Du .)

Heavy traffic expected on I-70 west during bridge replacement 

Published: Thursday, September 07, 2017 @ 10:24 AM

I70w bridge construction

 Indiana will begin work on a bridge replacement for I-70 westbound approximately 3 miles west of the Ohio State line today.

The construction will reduce westbound I-70 to one lane starting today until around September 22. Traffic congestion will back up into Preble County with potentially ten miles of reduced speeds and long delays.  

i70 westbound travelers will experience heavy delays in the next two weeks

A detour has been established that directs traffic north on US-127 to west US-36 and south US 27 back to I-70.   

Map:

The Ohio State Highway Patrol, Indiana State Police, Preble County Sheriff’s Department, Wayne County Sheriff’s Department and Richmond Police Department all stress the need for patience and safe driving during this project. 

 If you have an alternate route available it may be best to avoid the area. Please allow for extra time if you are traveling on I-70 west from Ohio to Indiana.

 

All agencies remind drivers to plan ahead, follow the vehicle in front of you at a safe distance and wear your seatbelt.

Alex-Bell Road bridge work to prompt detours

Published: Sunday, September 03, 2017 @ 5:00 PM


            Work on a bridge over Holes Creek in Washington Twp. is prompting detours on Alex-Bell Road through the end of November. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF
            Chris Stewart
Work on a bridge over Holes Creek in Washington Twp. is prompting detours on Alex-Bell Road through the end of November. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF(Chris Stewart)

Work on a Washington Twp. bridge over Holes Creek will prompt lengthy detours of Alex-Bell Road beginning on Tuesday.

The bridge located about 300 feet west of McEwen Road will undergo a total rehabilitation. Construction is expected to wrap up by Nov. 30, barring lengthy weather delays, according to Montgomery County Engineer Paul Gruner.

About 12,700 vehicles a day cross the 118-foot-long bridge, which has reached the end of its serviceable life, according to the engineer.

Through traffic will be required to take posted detours. The westbound detour for the project is Paragon Road to Miamisburg-Centerville Road to Yankee Street to Mad River Road. The eastbound detour for the project is Mad River Road to Whipp Road to Far Hills Avenue.

The project encompasses a total replacement of the current spans with three-span prestressed concrete spread box beams and a composite concrete deck.

Brumbaugh Construction, Inc. of Arcanum, Ohio was the successful low bidder at $703,442 and will be constructing the project. Funds were secured through an Ohio Department of Transportation State/Federal exchange program and the Ohio Public Works Commission.