MEDINA — The Medina County commissioners approved a contract change order this week that put repair crews back to work on the East Smith Road bridge over the West Branch of the Rocky River.
The bridge, just west of River Styx Road, has been closed to traffic since early September and officials said last week a construction complication will keep it closed until the end of this month.
“It was supposed to be an end-of-September completion date, but by having to do this other work, we’ve had to wait for a new proposal and discuss the details and wait for ODOT approval,” Medina County Engineer Mike Salay said.
Closing East Smith Road has added to the frustration of motorists trying to get to or from the Interstate 71 interchange along state Route 18 during an ODOT resurfacing project that has slowed traffic on that main artery since August.
East Smith Road, which runs roughly parallel to state Route 18, also is the most direct route from Medina to Montville Township.
Montville Township Trustee Ron Bischof expressed some frustration with the road closure.
“I wish it was open so people could get up to 71 more quickly. It’s a pretty big inconvenience and a traffic problem for people on Guilford Boulevard.”
Approval from the county commissioners Tuesday was the final bit of red tape and crews were back working on the bridge Wednesday.
The bridge is one of about a dozen projects countywide funded with $432,000 from the Federal Highway Administration and administered by the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Salay said the change order adds about $27,000 to the total project cost, but did not know the cost of the bridge repairs.
Salay said he expects the actual cost difference only will be about $12,000 to $15,000.
Workers from Lake Erie Construction of Norwalk removed the asphalt overlay while replacing guardrail posts and found problems in the concrete foundation, Salay said.
They will have to stabilize the deck and cover it with finished concrete instead of asphalt.
Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or email@example.com.