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Carriage Hill Bridge construction set for summer

As the safety of some Athens bridges continues to decline, new renovations are planned for the Carriage Hill Drive Bridge this summer.

The construction is anticipated to begin in July but might be pushed back to August, said Andy Stone, director of engineering and public works.

"I'd like to keep (the project) under $200,000," Stone said.

The Carriage Hill Bridge, built in 1963, was declared structurally deficient enough to need immediate repairs during the bridge's annual inspection in 2010, when the rating of the bridge dropped from a four to a three, Stone said.

Bridges across the state are inspected using a uniform procedure and given a rating from one to nine, with nine being in the best condition, according to a report released by the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study.

Any bridge that receives a rating of four or below is deemed structurally deficient, according to the report.

Seven bridges are inspected by the city of Athens annually, Stone said.

The Carriage Hill Bridge and the Oxbow Bridge that is part of the Richland Avenue Bridge are the bridges in need of repairs, he added.

Repairs for the Oxbow Bridge are planned for summer 2012, Stone said.

While repairs are needed on the bridge, it has not yet reached a level at which reconstruction needs to occur immediately, he added.

The Carriage Hill Bridge has a number of steel beams broken and exposed that are in need of replacement, he said.

The renovations will utilize the design of the bridge so that all materials can be brought to the site prior to construction, Stone said.

"Once it begins, the plan is to complete it in one night, since there is only one way of getting out of Carriage Hill," Stone said.


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