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* News Release *
Tuesday, October 2, 2001
For Immediate Release


Butler County Engineer Gregory J. Wilkens reports that construction will begin next week to replace the Taylor School Road bridge near Seven Mile. A contract was awarded to SK Construction of Middletown which submitted a low bid of $993,665. Federal LPA funds will be utilized to pay for the new bridge over Seven Mile Creek on the Wayne / St. Clair Township line.

A two-span truss built in 1928, the existing structure was closed last February because advanced deterioration of the truss had caused the bridge's middle section to sag, making it unsafe for motorists. The aging bridge had been posted with a 20-ton load limit and was originally scheduled for replacement next year.

"We were already in the design process and on schedule for new bridge construction in 2002," Wilkens said. "But the plans were not yet complete when we were forced into an emergency closure. Our engineers immediately accelerated design and engineering for the new bridge, and funding that was allocated for next year had to be worked into this year's budget. While it's been a challenge, I'm very pleased with how quickly we've been able to expedite construction."

Brush removal and utility relocations have already begun at the bridge site. Completion of the project is expected by year's end, weather permitting. The contractor will be working against the calendar in order to complete the paving before the annual winter closure of the asphalt plants, which is dependent upon the onset of winter weather. Local motorists should be prepared to wait until April for the new bridge to open if paving is unable to be completed before the end of the year. "We will continue to do everything possible to get the bridge open as soon as possible. And hopefully the weather will cooperate," Wilkens added.

The Taylor School Road Bridge was not the only unexpected project faced by the Engineer's Office this year. An embankment slip in February forced the closure of Mauds Hughes Road in Liberty Township and July's flash floods produced extensive damage to numerous roads, culverts, and bridges. Most flood-damaged roads have since been reopened due to the diligent efforts of the BCEO's Operations crews.

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For more information contact:

Chris Petrocy, Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S., Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 • Fax 513.867.5849

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