Motorists who use LeSourdsville
West Chester Road will have to wait a little longer than planned
for the opening of a new bridge in Olde West Chester. The heavily
traveled road was closed on May 19 to replace an aging and deteriorating
bridge built in 1938. Originally scheduled to reopen the last
week of August, the road will need to remain closed for an additional
two to three weeks.
The Butler County Engineer's
Office rejected a new concrete bridge structure when it failed
to meet proper specifications. According to BCEO Construction
Deputy Denny Krall, the three-sided concrete arch structure,
delivered to the construction site in eleven sections, was inspected
and found to be substandard.
"We will not allow
any bridge structure to be used that is out of spec," Krall
said. "It is first and foremost a safety issue for the motoring
public. But the long-term life of the bridge would have been
compromised as well. When you pay for a new bridge you expect
a new bridge, not one that has material, manufacturing, or handling
Krall emphasized that
the Engineer's Office is requiring the contractor to replace
the structure at no additional cost to the taxpayer. "We
are protecting the public interest. Safety and fiscal responsibility
to the public are obligations that we will not compromise."
A lack of visible activity
at the project site has generated a few phone calls from curious
motorists. "People don't see much work taking place right
now and are concerned because they want the road to open in a
timely manner," Krall noted. "But at this point there
is not a lot the contractor can do until the replacement structure
is delivered to the job site. The new materials are being fabricated
at the plant as we speak, but these are eleven custom built bridge
sections that will take some time to manufacture."
BCEO officials acknowledged
that they want the public to know why the project has been delayed
and why there is little work at the construction site right now.
"We know the road closure is an inconvenience for motorists
but we appreciate their patience. Hopefully we can turn this
into a good opportunity to demonstrate how locally we are looking
out for their best interests, especially in light of all the
recent national interest in bridge safety," said Krall.
As long as the weather cooperates and there are no further complications
with materials, the new bridge should be completed and reopened
the week of September 8.
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For more information
Petrocy, BCEO Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S.,
Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 Fax 513.867.5849