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* News Release *
 
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
For Immediate Release

ALLEN ROAD BRIDGE
EMERGENCY LOAD LIMIT POSTING

Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens reports that Allen Road Bridge #00.697 is restricted to a 20-ton load limit effective immediately. This emergency weight limit posting is due to structural deficiencies revealed during a recent inspection.

Located on Allen Road just east of Windisch Road and west of Schumacher Park Drive in West Chester Township, the bridge is an aging steel truss structure built in 1956. Bridge engineers have determined that deterioration at each end of the structure has reduced its load bearing capacity. The stringers and beams are also in poor condition. High volumes of heavy truck traffic that utilize the bridge on a daily basis have accelerated the problem.

Wilkens acknowledged that Allen Road is an essential roadway for commerce in the Township's southern section, but emphasized that public safety is a top priority. "Given the bridge's rapid deterioration, it is vitally important that we enforce load limits at this time," he said. "This structure has reached a point where it simply can't handle the heavier loads any more. It would be irresponsible to jeopardize the safety of motorists and truckers who use that portion of Allen Road."

Engineers have determined the bridge to be safe for passenger cars and other light vehicles; however, heavier trucks should be kept off the bridge until it is replaced. The BCEO has reallocated funding and revamped its 2004 project schedule to include construction of a new bridge. "Since Allen Road is such a critical link, we felt it was imperative to get this bridge replacement on our schedule as quickly as possible," Wilkens emphasized.

The BCEO's weight limit enforcement team, in conjunction with the Butler County Sheriff's Office, will patrol the area to ensure compliance with the new 20-ton load limit and to serve as a reminder of the significance of the bridge's weakened condition.

# # #

For more information contact:

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


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