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* News Release *
Wednesday, February 4, 2004
For Immediate Release

Load Restriction Modified

Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens reports that design and replacement of Allen Road Bridge #00.697 will be accelerated due to its critical impact on the local business community. The bridge, located just east of Windisch Road in West Chester Township, was posted with a 20-ton load restriction in December after structural deficiencies were discovered by BCEO bridge engineers. Replacement could begin later this summer thanks to efforts by the Engineer's Office and the Butler County Commissioners.

At Wilkens' request, the Commissioners passed a resolution declaring the Allen Road Bridge project an emergency. The resolution states that "the County Engineer considers the load limit and the resulting limitations of traffic a hardship on the traveling public" and that the "bridge must be replaced as soon as possible. Whereas, the Consultant Selection Process may be waived in cases of emergency as described in the Ohio Revised Code," the resolution enables Wilkens to expedite the design phase.

"What this means is that we can bypass the conventional procedures required for hiring a design consultant," Wilkens explained. "Design and engineering of a new structure can begin almost immediately so that we can get to the actual construction phase more quickly." The bridge was originally slated for replacement in 2007, but will now likely be under construction as early as this August. The BCEO reallocated funding and revamped its 2004 project schedule to include the Allen Road Bridge replacement.

Load Restriction Modified -- Based On Axle Loading

Subsequent inspections of the Allen Road Bridge have provided more detail, thus allowing the current 20-ton load restriction to be modified. Effective today, new weight limits are posted based on maximum axle loading:

  • 15 tons for single axle trucks;
  • 21 tons for tandem axle trucks;
  • 24 tons for triple axle trucks;
  • 38 tons for tandem axle semi-tractor trailer trucks.

Wilkens noted that Allen Road is an essential roadway for commerce in the Township's southern section. "A lot of trucks utilize that road," he said. "The modified weight limits will ease the current restriction somewhat, but will prevent certain vehicles from unsafely crossing the bridge." Wilkens emphasized that it is still safe for passenger vehicles. "Obviously safety is our number one concern. While posing a temporary inconvenience to some, restricting certain types of loads will slow down further deterioration of the structure. But ultimately it needs to be replaced. Our staff is to be commended for finding a means to work it into this year's schedule."

The existing bridge is a narrow, steel truss structure built in 1956. It will be torn down and replaced with a wider bridge designed to accommodate future upgrades to Allen Road and the nearby Windisch Road intersection. BCEO engineers say that the road will be closed for about three months while the new bridge is built. A total project cost has been estimated at $930,000, including design, right-of-way acquisition, and construction.

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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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