Johnstown Independent

Along Rt. 62 over Raccoon Creek

Residents' input sought on planned pedestrian bridge

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The Ohio Department of Transportation is seeking Johnstown residents' opinions on a proposed pedestrian bridge that would be adjacent to the U.S. Route 62 bridge over Raccoon Creek.

A 10-foot multiuse path would be constructed from Westview Drive to Bigelow Drive to provide access to the new pedestrian bridge, and construction is expected to begin in 2015.

The project will be funded by both Johnstown and ODOT and is expected to cost $536,929. Johnstown is expected to pay $206,741, including all of the engineering costs of $124,195. ODOT will pay for the majority of construction, totaling $330,188.

In the meantime, ODOT is seeking public comments on the potential social, environmental and economic impact of the bridge. In a press release, ODOT listed "archeological, architectural and ecological resources, hazardous materials and the general location of the project" as possible impacts.

Amy Toohey, coordinator for ODOT's environmental division, said this project isn't much cause for concern.

"This particular project, because we planned ahead of it and the abutments are already built to accommodate the bridge, the impacts are pretty small," Toohey said.

The project's resolution was approved by the village council in 2008. The bridge itself will be made of weathered steel to save on maintenance and other costs.

As of May 9, Toohey, who is listed as the contact for those with comments, said she hasn't heard anything from Johnstown residents. Although that's not uncommon, she said, ODOT would prefer to have more input from residents.

"With these types of projects, people don't always comment, unfortunately," she said. "(Comments) are very helpful. It's good to know ahead of time what people are thinking before we're actually out there doing construction."

Residents who want to comment on the bridge should write to the Ohio Department of Transportation District 5, Attention: Amy Toohey, P.O. Box 306, Jacksontown, Ohio 43030. Toohey also can be reached by sending an email to Amy.Toohey@dot.state.oh.us, or call ODOT District 5 at 740-323-5191.

Comments must be submitted by Friday, May 16.

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