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Linwood bridge closing for a month

Scott Seitz2 • Jun 6, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Area residents will be dealing with another bridge closure.

That's right, Linwood bridge, right in the heart of Norwalk, is going down for about 30 days, starting June 20.

"Some of the work on the under side will begin on June 13, but that won't cause the closure of the bridge," said Josh Snyder, city public works director.

The heavy-duty work starts June 20.

Snyder said the majority of the work will be focused on repairing the abutments and joints of the bridge at both ends.

The cost of the repairs is about $245,000, according to Snyder. About $200,000 will be funded through the Ohio Public Works Commission.

This brings about the obvious question, what happens if an emergency vehicle needs to get through and the bridge is closed and there is a train on Benedict Avenue?

"We have talked to the contractor about making steel plates available that span the repair area," Snyder said. "This will allow trucks or emergency vehicles to get across. The area will not be open to traffic. So we do have a plan in place, if need be."

Snyder said drivers, currently, don't need to worry about driving on the bridge.

"It's important to get this work done, because the longer it goes, the more it will deteriorate," he said. "But the bridge is structurally sound."

Snyder said a new inspection firm, working with the city for the past few years, noticed the areas of concern.

Local historian and Reflector columnist Henry Timman provided a history of the bridge on Friday.

"The first bridge, which was wooden, was built in 1886 or 1887," Timman said, adding that sometime between then and 1899, when a steel bridge was put in place, at least one other wooden bridge was built because the original wooden bridge was set on fire by sparks from a locomotive passing underneath.

Timman said the steel bridge lasted until 1974 when the current bridge was constructed. The current bridge did receive some renovation in the 1990s.

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