Upper Arlington officials recently approved a design contract to possibly replace two bridges on the city's west side.

Upper Arlington officials recently approved a design contract to possibly replace two bridges on the city's west side.

Based on information provided following an annual inspection of the city's 29 bridges last year, the Upper Arlington Engineering Division has concluded that bridges on Bridgeview Road and Glenrich Parkway are likely candidates for reconstruction.

Those officials are likely to know more later this year, after PRIME AE Group Inc. completes design work on the two bridges and determines if they can be repaired or are in need of total replacement.

"These bridges serve as residential connections," said Jackie Thiel, Upper Arlington's interim city engineer. "At this point, we are anticipating the design to be a full replacement for both bridges, but we are open to other cost-effective options that may be brought to our attention during the engineering design."

Upper Arlington City Council unanimously approved the contract with PRIME AE Group May 12. The company is based in Owings Mills, Md., but has offices throughout the country, including in Columbus and Dublin, Ohio.

Council authorized design work to be completed on both bridges at a price not to exceed $49,665.

If both bridges need to be replaced, Thiel said, the engineering department currently estimates those projects will cost a total of $180,000.

"Once the bridge designs are complete, the project will be bid out for construction," she said. "The construction contract will be brought to council.

"If funding is available, we plan to begin construction in 2015."

Both the Bridgeview and Glenrich bridges span Edington Creek.

In a staff report to council, Thiel stated neither bridge is rated "critical," but rather "no longer functioning as designed."

Last week, Thiel explained both bridges can continue to handle vehicle traffic, but require maintenance.

"This means the safety factor that is included in the bridge designs is now minimal due to the deterioration of the bridges," she said. "The bridges can still handle the current traffic loads safely."

Following the design work, Thiel said, her office will have a better idea of how long the bridges will require work.

She said regardless of the extent of the construction work, local traffic will be rerouted, but motorists will have options for maneuvering through the area.

"Residents will have access to their homes even when the bridges must be closed to be worked on because there are alternative access routes," Thiel said. "When Bridgeview is impacted, residents can use Oakridge Road for access.

"Similarly, when Glenrich is impacted, residents can gain access from Zollinger (Road) or Dorchester (Road)."