Violet Township will receive a state grant to fund approximately three-quarters of a project to replace the Waterloo Road bridge.

Violet Township will receive a state grant to fund approximately three-quarters of a project to replace the Waterloo Road bridge.

The Ohio Public Works Commission this month announced Violet Township will receive a $108,000 grant to enhance the Waterloo Road bridge to allow for two-way traffic.

The township and the Fairfield County Engineer's Office will share the remaining $86,000 cost of replacing the bridge. However, a portion of that share will be temporarily offset by a $36,000 OPWC loan for the project, which can be paid off at no interest over 30 years.

"The Violet Township Board of Trustees and (Fairfield) County Engineer's Office should be commended for their willingness to partner together in receiving state funding," Violet Township engineer Greg Butcher said. "Combining resources from both the township and engineer's office made this project happen.

"The engineer's office agreed to perform the design in-house if the township would apply for the funding and share in the cost," he said. "This is a good example of two governments collaborating for the overall good of the communities they serve."

Although a precise age of the Waterloo Road bridge is not known, Butcher said it is estimated to be between 30 and 40 years old.

The bridge is located on the southeast side of Waterloo Road, between Hill and Winchester roads. It crosses a Walnut Creek tributary.

Butcher said recent traffic counts show 2,500 to 3,000 vehicles travel over the bridge each day. That's up from approximately 1,000 vehicles per day in the late 1990s, he said.

Increased traffic brought on by the 2004 construction of the Hill Road-Diley Road interchange has led to a recurrence of "meetings" of motorists attempting to travel both directions on what is essentially a one-lane bridge, Butcher said.

Township officials have sought for several years to remedy to problem, which has led to tight squeezes for cars trying to pass in both directions over the bridge and frequent delays when trucks and other drivers take turns passing using the span.

However, budget constraints have continued to delay any work until now.

The OPWC grant, which the township applied for last fall, is expected to allow the project to move forward and be completed before the end of this year. The money is expected to be awarded after the state budget is finalized in July.

"The bridge is being replaced because of the narrowness of it and the desire to widen it to safely accommodate two-way traffic," Butcher said. "The project will be competitively bid within a few months."

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