Pawnee Road, near Simcox Road, is expected to be closed after today to allow workers to complete a railroad bridge replacement project begun in 2010.
Medina County Engineer Mike Salay said he wasn’t sure when Pawnee Road, which runs along the border between Homer and Harrisville townships, would close this week because weather could delay the project.
“I’m hopeful that we’ll get it done by the end of January,” Salay said. “I’d hate to see it closed for a long time.”
Simcox Road is just north of a former bridge over railroad tracks on Pawnee Road, which was torn down this fall as part of National Gateway, a CSX Corp. project.
The company requested improvements to 61 bridges in six states so the company’s railroad cars could transport double-stacked cargo without striking bridges that were too low, Salay said.
Three of those bridges were in Medina County on Pawnee Road, River Corners Road in Homer Township and Mud Lake Road in Westfield Township.
The River Corners and Mud Lake bridges were replaced with newer, sturdier ones this year.
Salay said traffic that normally would cross the Pawnee bridge instead should use the River Corners bridge, which crosses the same stretch of tracks about a half-mile west.
The final step in the project for Medina County should be paving the new bridge, Salay said, which should happen this summer.
He said the new bridges serve more than just CSX.
“The old bridges were from the turn of the century,” he said. “They were old, steel bridges with wooden-plank floors that couldn’t hold much weight. Semi-trucks weren’t allowed to pass them.”
Now, though, the River Corners and Mud Lake bridges can hold much more weight, which also could help response times for emergency vehicles.
The old bridges couldn’t hold more than eight or 10 tons, he said. The new ones have limits far above 40 tons.
“It’s just a better situation,” he said.
Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or firstname.lastname@example.org.