Wider Waterloo Road bridge opens
A long-sought project to allow for two-way traffic on Waterloo Road bridge in Violet Township was completed June 29.
Following its May 10 demolition, crews from Nashport, Ohio-based Buds Inc. replaced the bridge and opened it to traffic.
The project, which was slated to take 10 weeks, was finished in eight, according to officials from Violet Township and the Fairfield County Engineer's Office.
Now, the bridge allows for two-way traffic.
Prior to the work, officials said, larger vehicles such as utility and emergency-response trucks, could not safely pass driving in opposite directions.
"It should greatly increase the safety of traffic," Fairfield County Chief Deputy Engineer Jeff Baird said.
"The width of the bridge -- from face to guardrail -- is much wider."
The bridge replacement was completed at a total cost of $278,000, Baird said.
Of that, $108,000 was funded by a grant Violet Township obtained from the Ohio Public Works Commission.
The township also used a $36,000 loan from the OPWC to help finance the work. The township has 30 years to pay off that loan, interest-free.
The balance of the costs were split between the township and the county engineer's office.
Township officials last week lauded the finished project.
Prior to the work, they had called for the bridge replacement for the past two years.
"It will be a lot better," said Bill Yaple, Violet Township director of operations.
"Traffic on that road in the last five to six years has increased dramatically," Yaple said.
"Now, it provides a good access to people south of Walnut Creek in Violet Township and Bloom Township. It's a good access to Route 33."
The Waterloo Road bridge is located between Hill and Winchester roads and allows for motor vehicle travel over a Walnut Creek tributary.
Last February, Violet Township Engineer Greg Butcher said traffic counts showed 2,500 to 3,000 vehicles travel over the bridge each day.
That was up from approximately 1,000 vehicles per day in the late 1990s, he said.
Despite the award of the OPWC grant to Violet Township and calls by township officials to expedite the project, it was stalled, in part, due to right-of-way acquisition and utilities relocation issues.
Specifically, a home on the east side of the bridge went through a foreclosure, and the county couldn't resolve right-of-way acquisitions until the foreclosure was complete.
When those issues were resolved in May, Butcher said, the project progressed seamlessly.
"I thought the project went well," he said. "The weather was phenomenal.
"I thought the county did a good job. I think the contractor did an excellent job."
Yaple echoed those sentiments and said the new span should allow for safer travel in the area and should be helpful to emergency-response officials.
"It was a one-lane bridge that had several close calls," Yaple said. "Now, it's plenty wide for the access point.
"Because of the Hill-Diley interchange, it's become a huge access point."