The construction of the Orange Road bridge over the Olentangy River is on budget and ahead of schedule, said Robert Riley of the Delaware County Engineer's Office.

The construction of the Orange Road bridge over the Olentangy River is on budget and ahead of schedule, said Robert Riley of the Delaware County Engineer's Office.

"We have all the substructure -- foundation, bridge abutment and pier-- built," Riley said.

This week, crews began erecting steel girders, Riley said. The girders are made in Bowling Green, Ky.

The past few weeks of good weather permitted the bridge foundation and structure to be completed and the project has moved ahead of schedule, he said.

The two-lane bridge will be built north of the existing one-lane bridge that was built in 1898. The older bridge was closed in August 2007, when an inspection revealed significant deterioration of the structure.

Road work, including aligning Orange Road with Carriage Road to the west, will begin later this spring. Construction will include putting in a new intersection at Perry and Orange roads, east of the new bridge. The project is expected to be completed in late August.

In December, Delaware County commissioners awarded Eagle Bridge Co. of Sidney a $2.7-million construction contract for the bridge and roadway work.

Riley said the estimated total cost of the project is $4.1-million, which includes right of way, engineering and inspections. The money for the project comes from the county's road and bridge funds, he said.

"The road and bridge funds are derived from Delaware County's share of the state gasoline tax, motor vehicle registration fees and a portion of the county sales tax. There is no general fund allocation for road and bridge projects," county engineer Chris Bauserman said in an e-mail.

A related but separate project includes a planned roundabout at Orange Road and state Route 315, which is estimated to cost $500,000. The roundabout must be approved by the Ohio Department of Transportation before construction begins.

Discussions of what to do with the old one-lane Orange Road Bridge are ongoing, Riley said.

A group of Liberty Township residents called the Orange Road Bridge Task Force hopes to find funds to relocate the bridge to another area for park and recreation use.

To address Carriage Road residents' concerns that the new bridge will increase traffic in their area, the engineer's office will install speed tables on Carriage Road and Wren Lane this summer, prior to the bridge opening, Riley said. He said he did not have an estimate for the tables at hand when ThisWeek asked for the cost.

More information about the project is available at www.OrangeRoadBridge.org.