City Takes Next Steps In Pedestrian Bridge Project

Managing Editor

The city of St. Marys declared its commitment to the pedestrian bridge during Monday’s city council meeting. 

Council passed, under suspension of the rules, Ordinance 2020-03, requesting cooperation of the director of transportation for the construction of a pedestrian walk from Scott Street along McKinley Road to U.S. 33, crossing U.S. 33 with a two-span pedestrian bridge and ending at the parking lot of Memorial High School.

Along with passing the ordinance, Director of Public Service and Safety Greg Foxhoven informed council of the details of the bridge project.

The project begins on the northwest corner of Scott Street where the city will construct a sidewalk on the south side of McKinley Road and add crossing markers at Omni Manufacturing. An asphalted walking path with lighting will be constructed between Murotech Ohio and the expanded land from Kosei St. Marys factory from McKinley up to U.S. 33 where pedestrians will take the bridge that will run at an angle and go over the four lanes of the highway and the exit ramp to the front parking lot of the school. 

Foxhoven said the bridge will be ADA compliant. As the bridge crosses over traffic to the school’s side of U.S. 33, pedestrians can either take the stairs leading to the parking lot or a ramp that goes over a portion of the school yard and into the parking lot. 

Foxhoven added the bridge can be used whenever — such as students going to or coming from school or pedestrians attending a football game or other school activities. 

Although still in the works, Foxhoven said the may be a plan for a parking lot directly off McKinley Road. 

Currently, the bridge is estimated at a cost of $3.4 million as of October, and the city has been awarded a grant currently up to $3.375 million — tentatively leaving the city to pay about $255,000 for the project. Foxhoven said the hope is bids will be sent out in the fall 2021 — but added that date could be bumped up — with construction for the bridge slated for spring 2022 with an eight- to 12-month construction period.

“We are requiring that [the ordinance] be passed under suspension of the rules so we can continue to move forward with the project,” Foxhoven told council before it passed the ordinance. “Although those timelines are far out there, we don’t want the state to have to wait for us on everything.”

For the 2020 budget, the city has appropriated money for a consultant design of the bridge — which will be constructed off-site — and purchasing of the right-of-way.