Lower Gambier Road bridge removal

County crews remove the bridge on Lower Gambier Road on Jan. 14, 2020. The bridge replacement project will go out for bid this spring and is slated for completion this year.

MOUNT VERNON — Knox County road projects slated for completion this year include the long-awaited replacement of the Magers Road bridge.

The bridge was closed in November 2016 due to excessive deterioration of the steel beams. The bridge spans the Little Jelloway Creek between Howard-Danville Road and Cornish Road. The project is in the bidding stage with bids due March 5.

Another bridge being replaced this year is the Lower Gambier Road bridge. The bridge closed on Nov. 4, 2019. County crews removed the beams on Jan. 14.

“Plans for Lower Gambier Road are currently being developed, and I would like to bid the project [this spring],” County Engineer Cameron Keaton told KnoxPages.com. “The construction period should be fairly short for this simple bridge, less than two months. However, sometimes we are at the mercy of the steel suppliers and how available beams are at the time.”

2020 resurfacing projects include Croton Road ($443,795), which will be hot mix asphalt, and Rich Hill Road ($236,000), which will be chip and seal. Bids for Croton Road are due Feb. 27; funding is through the County Surface Transportation Program (CSTP).

CSTP will also fund the resurfacing of Upper Fredericktown Road ($1.048 million) and Lock Road ($820,948). Those roads will not be done until 2022 and 2023, respectively, but the design work for Upper Fredericktown Road will begin this year.

One project scheduled for 2020 but which is still up in the air is resurfacing the north section of Apple Valley Drive. The cost estimate for the 5.8 miles is $1.4 million.

“Paving Apple Valley Drive will begin after July 1 due to the state's fiscal year, if it is approved for funding through the OPWC (Ohio Public Works Commission),” said Keaton. “If funding is not approved, the project will get pushed back one year.”

Keaton expects to find out in April or May whether OPWC will fund the project.

County crews will also complete bridge repairs on four township roads this year:

  • Ball Road Bridge #123, Hillier Township, deck replacement
  • Pleasant Valley Road Bridge #12, Clinton Township, deck replacement
  • Krause Road Bridge #53, Hillier Township, reinforce steel beams (the load rating will updated after repairs are completed)
  • Lock Road Truss Bridge #203, Milford township, install 12-inch stinger sister beam (adding a second beam to bolster the existing beam)

“Counties are responsible for all bridges on township roads,” explained Keaton. “In Knox County, the townships only maintain culvert pipe less than 48 inches in diameter.”

Miscellaneous projects scheduled include guardrail, culvert and pipe replacements; discussion of concrete deck repairs for Howard-Danville Road Bridge #105 in Howard Township and Thayer Road Bridge #20 in Clinton Township; a sign inventory; and a speed study in Apple Valley.

“Our current sign inventory is outdated and needs updated,” said Keaton. “It's not mandatory [by state or federal regulations], but these types of projects are paid 90 percent by safety grants.

“We will inventory all signs on county roads,” he continued. “It will not include township or state highways.”

The scope of the project is still being developed.

Regarding the speed study in Apple Valley, Keaton said, “Speed of vehicles is always a concern for the residents of Apple Valley, and it generates a number of questions in my office. I decided to complete a speed study on the entire area and establish safe speed limits for the roadways. Accidents are not driving the study.”

Keaton said the speed study will include all of Apple Valle Drive and all of the county roads that come off of Apple Valley Drive.

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