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* News Release *
 
Friday, November 18, 2005
For Immediate Release

BCEO RECEIVES FEDERAL GRANTS FOR BRIDGE REPLACEMENTS

Good news for County Engineer Greg Wilkens and Butler County taxpayers -- the BCEO learned this week that it will receive two federal grants totaling over $2 million for bridge replacements in Ross and Reily Townships. The Engineer's Office applied in May for Federal LBR (Local Bridge Replacement) funds to replace bridges on Hamilton New London Road and Reily Millville Road.

"We anticipated getting one but not both grants, so this is a very pleasant surprise," said Wilkens. "Obviously our staff did its homework. They did an excellent job with the applications because these are competitive grants, meaning that we are in competition with 87 other Ohio counties for these bridge funds which are allocated based on a scoring system. Anytime we can bring federal tax dollars back into Butler County, especially large amounts like this, it frees up local funds to focus on other projects."

The grant for the Hamilton New London Road bridge is $1,101,050 which is 95 percent of the total estimated project cost of $1,159,000. Built in 1952, this narrow two-lane structure spanning Indian Creek is now posted with a 20-ton load limit. The bridge was closed for five months in 1997 after high waters in the rain-swollen creek washed out the bridge abutment and the adjoining roadway approach on the bridge's east side.

The Reily Millville Road bridge grant is for $990,850, or 95 percent of the total estimated project cost of $1,043,000. This bridge was built in 1969 and also crosses Indian Creek. Although newer, the structure has experienced an accelerated rate of deterioration in recent years.

Wilkens noted that with a solid funding source in place, design and engineering can now begin for both bridge replacements. Construction is slated for 2011, which can't arrive too soon for BCEO Operations Manager Scott Bressler whose snow and ice control crews must avoid crossing the load-restricted Hamilton New London Road bridge with fully loaded trucks. "It forces us to adjust our routes and approach that one a little differently," he explained. "A fully loaded salt truck is too heavy to safely cross the bridge. So we have to treat that stretch of roadway at the end of the route when the truck has been nearly emptied of its salt."

There are currently only five load-restricted bridges for which the County has maintenance responsibility. This is down from 34 posted bridges ten years ago due to the Engineer's aggressive pursuit of outside funding and a bridge safety program that addresses structural and capacity issues.

  • Photo: Hamilton New London Road Bridge #05.029 - top view
  • Photo: Hamilton New London Road Bridge #05.029 - side view
  • Photo: Hamilton New London Road Bridge #05.029 - 1997 photo after east abutment washed out by flood waters
  • Photo: Reily Millville Road Bridge #00.338 - top view
  • Photo: Reily Millville Road Bridge #00.338 - side view

# # #

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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