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* News Release *
 
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
For Immediate Release

LESOURDSVILLE WEST CHESTER ROAD BRIDGE PROJECT DELAYED
BCEO Rejects Defective Materials

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 defects."

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.

# # #

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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