Project To Finish End Of July

ST. MARYS — Work on the High Street bridge replacement is on track to be finished on schedule.

Crews from Jutte Excavating — the lead contractor on the project — recently poured all the abutment walls, and 10 concrete box beams were put into place. A 21-inch sanitary sewer line under the bridge has also been finished and passed testing.

“They are on schedule and on budget,” St. Marys Safety-Service Director Greg Foxhoven told The Evening Leader.

Traffic sometimes becomes congested on Spring Street as a results of High Street’s closure. Foxhoven said motorists could also use South Street as a way to get through town.

“In the mid-afternoon hours it can get a little congested,” Foxhoven said. “I think with school being out, that could have some impact on that.”

The completion of the bridge project means that it will be decades before the city must look at replacing one if its 11 bridges. The smaller canal bridge was replaced last year in conjunction with the High Street road project.

“It’s nice to have them replaced so that we won’t have to worry about them for decades,” Foxhoven said. “It’s kind of a hassle now, but with regards to these types of projects, people have a short memory. In September and October, they will forget about the inconvenience now.”

The project is expected to wrap up by July 31. Once that project is done, Foxhoven said he plans to turn his attention toward the demolition of the former power plant. Bids for that project are scheduled to be opened in mid-June with a Dec. 31 deadline for completion.

“It’s an eyesore and a hazard to be there in its current condition,” Foxhoven said of the structure. “We want a substantial completion date of Dec. 31. We realize there may be foundation work and back filling that can be done after that, but we want the structure down and removed by the end of the year.”

Foxhoven said the projects will add to the attractiveness of the area off High Street.

“We want that area to look nice because it’s an area of town that attracts people,” Foxhoven said. “Our shelterhouse is always being used and people are picnicking or walking or biking. It’s to see that and we want to make sure that area stays in good shape.”