Bridge Recovery, Repairs Underway

City employees work to recover the top portion of the guardrail from the Spring Street bridge from the bottom of the Miami Erie Canal on Tuesday. The guardrail was damaged in a car crash on Sunday afternoon.
Assistant Editor

After a Sunday afternoon crash damaged a section of the East Spring Street bridge over the Miami Erie Canal, city crews have been hard at work to figure out the next steps. Because Spring Street is part of state Routes 29 and 66, the bridge itself is the property of the Ohio Department of Transportation but the guardrails on either side are the responsibility of the city. 

“The agreement we have is that the municipalities are responsible for minor repairs and damage like this,” said Director of Public Service and Safety Greg Foxhoven. “That's just the agreement they have with the municipalities and villages where their bridges are located. These repairs will be on us but we're keeping track of the labor, equipment and materials used that we have involved with this.”

He added that Superintendent of Community Services and Engineering Craig Moeller is working closely with ODOT, providing it with pictures and almost constant communication. The top of the guardrail was able to be recovered in one piece but city officials are concerned with the damage that was sustained in the impact and as the guardrail fell into the canal. 

“Although it's intact, there's four or five pretty decent cracks on the eastern portion of this guardrail,” Foxhoven said. “We are concerned that the integrity of the concrete has been compromised.

“It’s not going to be a fast process, it’s not going to be an easy process but my guess is that ODOT will instruct us to reassemble it with some type of compound that will hold all this in place without compromising its integrity.”

The state — while not paying for the repairs — is advising the city on the process to go through and what materials to use. Though the state will not be the one to reimburse the city for the work, the city will not be left footing the unexpected bill. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will be charged for labor, equipment and materials. Foxhoven said the process is the same as when a driver strikes a light pole or other city-owned property.

The bridge was damaged at approximately 4:45 p.m. Sunday when the driver of a 2008 Dodge fell asleep at the wheel and struck the northern guardrail on the East Spring Street bridge at 25 mph. No serious injuries were sustained in the crash.