Delaware City Council last week authorized the state to restore portions of a 42-year-old bridge on the city's north side.

Delaware City Council last week authorized the state to restore portions of a 42-year-old bridge on the city's north side.

Within the next 24 months, crews from the Ohio Department of Transportation are expected to begin surface, pier and other upgrades to the U.S. Route 23 North entrance ramp off Pennsylvania Avenue and North Sandusky Street. The one-way ramp crosses over U.S. 23.

The $200,000 to $300,000 project will be fully funded by ODOT and, according to city officials, is part of regular upkeep program the state maintains for bridges across Ohio.

"The improvements will be 100 percent covered by the state," said Bill Ferrigno, Delaware's director of engineering services. "It's in the cycle to conduct these types of improvements."

ODOT will determine when the project will begin, but city officials said it could take place in fall 2009 or sometime in 2010. It will include replacement of the bridge's approach slabs, minor deck patching, surface sealing, pier patching and abutment repairs and replacement.

The bridge will be closed during the work. Lee Yoakum, Delaware's community-affairs coordinator, said a timeline for the project hasn't been established but would likely to "months rather than weeks.

"(A start date) is to be determined," Yoakum said. "That will be ODOT's call.

"They've got a couple times in mind, but it's up to them."

Built in 1966, the bridge largely remains in good condition, Ferrigno said, but has experienced natural deterioration of its deck's concrete surfaces, abutments and piers.

He added the restoration project is consistent with overall enhancements needed at the U.S. 23-Pennsylvania Avenue interchange.

According to an engineering department staff report, the city still is determining when the interchange work will begin.

It likely will include modifications to accommodate travel between U.S. 23 and Pennsylvania Avenue.

"The work maintenance performed by ODOT should substantially reduce and/or eliminate associated bridge rehabilitation costs from the proposed interchange project," the report stated.