Common Staff Writer
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) reported late Tuesday night that an oversized vehicle struck an overpass on County Road (C.R.) 7 (Junior Furnace-Powellsville Road) at U.S. Route 52 in Scioto County causing structural damage.
“The overpass was inspected today (Wednesday), by our bridge engineers and inspectors. There was a team of people working on it today,” said Kathleen Fuller, ODOT District 9 spokeswoman. “There has been some damage to the support beams on the outside edges of the bridge. The center beam is fine but the outside beams have been compromised.”
She said the beams on the outside edges of the bridge have been bent as a result of being struck by an unknown oversized vehicle.
“The overpass is still structurally sound but there has been some damage to a couple of the support beams,” Fuller said.
Fuller said, in the coming months ODOT will put a project together for a contractor to repair the damage to the bridge.
“A contractor will have to do heat straightening project, we’ve done these before when we get bridges that are damaged, this is a very typical project,” Fuller said. “We did this type of project in Lawrence County last year.”
Fuller said none of those decisions have been made and the process to figure all of that out will likely take a few months.
She said it’s still uncertain what actually struck the bridge causing the damage.
“We are assuming it was an over height vehicle of some sort. We are investigating this, trying to determine what struck the bridge. We will work together to try to determine what and who caused this to happen,” Fuller said. “No one has come forward saying, ‘I hit your bridge and here’s why’. Obviously it was some sort of over height type of vehicle.”
Fuller said there has been no damage to U.S. 52.
She said Thursday; County Road 7 was reopened to one lane of traffic.
“We will put up a temporary signal; we are going to move traffic to the center of the bridge. Because, it was only the outside beams that where bent or damaged. We can safely reopen that center lane,” Fuller said.
She said the bridge will stay one lane until they can get a project to get it repaired.
“There is no early estimates available as to what it will cost to repair the damage,” Fuller said.
The bridge, which is situated on C.R. 7, crosses over U.S. 52 at the route’s 35.72-mile marker near Franklin Furnace, approximately four miles west of the Scioto-Lawrence County line.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-1151, or firstname.lastname@example.org.