Taxpayers not on hook for failed implosions of old I-71 bridge

Published: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 @ 8:43 AM

The third time was not quite the charm ODOT officials were expecting as contractors tried again to take down the remaining steel structure of the Jeremiah-Morrow Bridge this past weekend. Done view of the demo work.

Despite four tries, work to implode the old Jeremiah Morrow Bridge over Interstate 71 in Warren County won’t cost taxpayers more money.

State officials and contractors, however, are still trying to figure out how to get the last section of the stubborn structure down.

Pennsylvania-based subcontractor Demtech is expected to complete the demolition and removal of demolished materials without additional funding.

“If it takes them a hundred tries or one try, the contract was to bring down the bridge,” Matt Bruning, press secretary for ODOT, said Monday. “There won’t be any additional costs to the taxpayers.”

WATCH: Section of Jeremiah Morrow Bridge is imploded

The Ohio Department of Transportation will meet 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.

This is the southernmost section of the southbound span of the old Jeremiah Morrow Bridge before the implosions.(Staff Writer)

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

RELATED: Third implosion in four weeks

But the north side of the remaining steel landed on the cement pier for the old bridge, according to Bruning.

“It was supposed to come down like a W. It came down more like a V. The southern part is still sitting on the pier,” Bruning said.

It remained unclear what ODOT and Demtech, the subcontractor hired by Kokosing Construction to do the job for $3 million, will do next.

“It’s too early to tell,” Bruning said. “The plan going forward they will develop over the next week.”

RELATED: Bridge implosion misfires

Demtech has not responded to requests for interviews about the project, begun on April 23 with much hoopla, including media access.

The past two implosion attempts have been off limits to the public and media.

The area around the bridge, including I-71, flight path above, river and bike path below were all blocked off May 7 from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

On Sunday the northbound lane was only partially closed, but otherwise transportation was again blocked off and rerouted during the implosion.

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

As part of closing out the contract, ODOT could pursue fines, known as liquidated damages, but that determination has yet to be made, Bruning said.

“Obviously nobody planned on this all happening. Our focus has been on bringing the bridge down,” he said.

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CRUISER CAM: Lebanon police cruiser hit by motor home

Published: Thursday, June 14, 2018 @ 12:09 PM
Updated: Thursday, June 14, 2018 @ 12:09 PM

Police in Lebanon have released cruiser cam video of one of their cruisers that was struck by another vehicle while responding to an emergency call.

Lebanon police released two videos from cameras mounted on the dashes of two cruisers, including the one involved in a crash on Wednesday morning at the intersection of Cook Road and the Ohio 48 bypass.

RELATED:Lebanon police cruiser, motor home collide 

The first video shows the cruiser turning on sirens and flash lights as it approached the intersection eastbound on Cook Road.

As the cruiser pulls into the intersection, where a red light has stopped eastbound traffic, but then turns green, it collides with a passing motor home and the officer goes to assist.

The second video from the dash of another cruiser approaching the intersection moments later on eastbound Cook Road, shows the cruiser, lights flashing and sirens sounding, enter the intersection and collide with the motor home in the outside northbound lane of the bypass as the light turns to green.

MORE: Dayton police lieutenant critically injured in Huber Heights crash

The crash report was not available Thursday morning, but a run sheet indicates the first call for service came in at 7:22 a.m. on an officer-involved crash.

A post after the crash on Tuesday on the department’s Facebook page showed a picture of the cruiser and a message:

“A Lebanon Officer was responding to a possible structure fire when he was involved in a motor vehicle crash at the intersection of ST RT 48 and Cook Rd.

MORE: Miami Twp. officer struck by drunk driver on I-75 to be okay

Everyone involved appears to be fine with only a few minor injuries reported.”

Two tow trucks were called, according to the run sheet.

Police said the officer involved in the crash was taken to a hospital as precaution by another officer, but there were no reported injuries.

The crash remained under investigation.

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OVI checkpoint tonight in southern Warren County

Published: Thursday, May 31, 2018 @ 10:38 AM
Updated: Friday, June 01, 2018 @ 8:46 AM


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UPDATE @8:45 a.m.:

The Ohio Highway Patrol and local law enforcement will have an OVI checkpoint set up on U.S. 22, just east of Landen Road in Deerfield Twp.

“The Ohio State Highway Patrol, in conjunction with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and the Hamilton Township Police Department announced today that an OVI checkpoint will be held from 9 pm until 11 pm tonight,” according to today’s announcement.

RELATED: 2 arrests made at checkpoint, special patrols

Today’s announcement locates the checkpoint announced on Thursday.

“The checkpoint will also be held in conjunction with nearby saturation patrols to aggressively combat alcohol-related injury and fatal crashes.

If you plan to consume alcohol, designate a driver or make other travel arrangements before you drink. Don’t let another life be lost for the senseless and selfish act of getting behind the wheel impaired,” the announcement concluded.

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ORIGINAL REPORT:

The Ohio Highway Patrol plans to set up a checkpoint in Warren County on Friday night for drivers operating while intoxicated.

A press release issued Thursday morning indicated the location would be revealed on Friday.

RELATED: Highway patrol plans OVI checkpoint in April

“The OVI checkpoint, funded by federal grant funds, is planned to deter and intercept impaired drivers,” according to a press release issued by Lt. Chuck O’Bryon, commander of the highway patrol’s Lebanon post.

In Ohio during 2017, there were 375 OVI-related fatal crashes in which 401 people were killed, according to O’Bryon.

State troopers make approximately 25,000 OVI arrests each year in an attempt to combat these dangerous drivers, O’Bryon added.

“OVI checkpoints are designed to not only deter impaired driving, but to proactively remove these dangerous drivers from our roadways,” he concluded the press release.

We will report on the location, once it is revealed on Friday.

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Washington Twp. street improvement includes 19 streets

Published: Thursday, May 31, 2018 @ 12:07 PM

Work began Tuesday on the annual Street Improvement Program for Washington Township. A total of 19 streets are being paved this summer.
Work began Tuesday on the annual Street Improvement Program for Washington Township. A total of 19 streets are being paved this summer.

Work began Tuesday on the annual Street Improvement Program for Washington Township. A total of 19 streets are being paved this summer, including 16 neighborhood streets, one collector road, and two commercial streets.

In total, the program will use an estimated 14,600 tons of asphalt, according to Public Works Director Mike Wanamaker. About 7,500 feet of curb also will be repaired.

MORE: Washington Township announces summer camp information

Commercial streets include sections of Paragon Road and Lyons Road. Paragon is being resurfaced from State Route 725 to Congress Park Drive, and Lyons is receiving a coat of asphalt from State Route 725 to immediately east of Yankee Street.

The collector street, Spring Valley Pike, is being resurfaced from Washington Church Road east to the City of Centerville corporation line.

The township also is paving nearby Old Spring Valley Court, a neighborhood street east of the intersection of Spring Valley and Yankee Street.

Five Things to Know About the Washington Township Street Improvement Program:

• 16 neighborhood streets

• one collector street

• two commercial streets

• About 7,500 feet of curb

• A total of about 14,600 tons of asphalt

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Crash that killed woman helping others leads to calls for safety measures in fast-growing area

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 11:08 AM

A memorial for Tina Campbell, victim of crash, sits across Butler-Warren Road from crash site.

A floral memorial stands across from the site of a fatal incident earlier this month that resulted in the death of a Butler County woman who was assisting crash victims.

The crash and resulting death of the woman providing aid has heightened residents’ concerns about traffic safety in the fast-growing area along the Butler-Warren county line, east of Interstate 75.

Tina Campbell, 53, of Liberty Twp., died last Monday from injuries suffered on May 11 as she was helping victims of a crash on Butler-Warren Road at Heritage Club Drive.

Campbell, a wife, mother and grandmother, was popular with neighbors.

“She was a very sweet person,” neighbor Rita Armentrout said on Thursday after stopping to examine the memorial for Campbell at the entrance to the Hawthorne housing development of the Four Bridges Country Club, where they were backyard neighbors.

RELATED: Fatal crash victim wife, mother, “Grammy”

“We’re all sick about it. The neighborhood is just in shock over Tina’s death.

“She was the kind of person you always thought you wanted to get to know better. This is tragic, but it should bring attention to the fact this is a extremely dangerous intersection.”

According to the crash report, Campbell and Aaron Reed, 49, of Mason were out of their cars giving aid to Jagdish Makkar, 83, of Beavercreek, and Ciarra Witt, 18, of Monroe, after their crash at the entrance to the Heritage Club development. A 2011 Mazda CX-9 driven northbound on Butler-Warren Road by John Cowdery, 25, of Liberty Twp., swerved to avoid the disabled vehicles and “rotated counter-clockwise” into Campbell and Reed.

MORE: Springboro crossroads part of $44 M in Warren County road construction

Campbell was pronounced dead at West Chester Hospital. None of the others were left with incapacitating injuries, according to investigators.

Investigators indicated they did not believe alcohol or drugs were a factor.

MORE: Monroe driver in fatal prom night crash won’t be charged as adult

No charges have been filed, pending review by the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office of the crash investigation and a study of the role of speeding, according to the report.

MORE: Monroe approves reconstruction for Butler-Warren Road

Transportation officials from Butler, Warren and Hamilton counties are in the process of completing a series of road projects designed to improve traffic problems and safety on the stretch of Butler-Warren Road heading north from Hamilton County along the Butler-Warren county line, Warren County Engineer Neil Tunison said.

In addition, Tunison said a study is underway to attempt to convince the Ohio Department of Transportation to reduce the speed limit to 45 mph on the road, which widens from two to four lanes as it heads south near Monroe into Deerfield Twp. in Warren County along the boundary with Butler County.

“The speed limit is 55. Everybody goes 75,” said Marty Davis, who also lives in the Hawthorne development.

MORE: ODOT plans $60 million in Butler, Warren projects 

Davis pointed south toward where Butler-Warren Road crosses Liberty Way and said plans were underway to build more than 1,000 new homes on undeveloped land between Hawthorne and the intersection.

“That’s too many,” she added.

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