Bridge Work Coming

ST. MARYS —  A project six years in the making should start by July in the city of St. Marys.

During Monday night’s meeting, St. Marys City Councilors approved, under suspension of rules, an emergency ordinance regarding the replacement of the High Street canal bridges. The project, which first started being developed in 2007, is expected to be put out for bid May 23 with work to start on July 1.

“(ODOT) hopes to be concluded by the end of October, weather permitting,” St. Marys Interim Safety-Service Director Greg Foxhoven said. “At that time, High Street will also be reconstructed, part of it, from Spruce Street to Vine Street, will be resurfaced.”

Foxhoven said plans are in place to accommodate the large crowds expected for SummerFest. During the construction, that portion of High Street will be closed.

“This has been a very complex project,” City Law Director Kraig Noble said. “Craig Moeller has worked on this for a long time, as have previous administration. We had a big issue with the mill. That was deemed to be eligible for the National Historic Register.”

Noble said the design of the bridge was altered so construction would not affect the mill. That, he noted, delayed the project.

“Fortunately, we have that money,” Noble said. “We didn’t increase our cost on the project significantly. The mill will not be disturbed ... It’s going to be a significant improvement, it’s going to really enhance that whole area.”

The city’s portion of the project will come out of a portion of the 0.5 percent income tax.

“I think everyone will agree High Street is probably the worst street in town,” Noble said. “It’s going to be a major project and shows how important of a funding source that is to the city. We’ve been waiting a long time for this.”

In other business, councilors:

• Approved, under suspension of rules, an emergency appropriations ordinance.

The next meeting of the St. Marys City Council is scheduled for 7 p.m. April 22 at the city building located along East Spring Street.