Licking County Engineer: Damaged bridge needs to be replaced

Local News

A logjam-damaged bridge that’s more than 40 years old is closed in Licking County, and the county engineer said it needs to be replaced not repaired.

“We recovered three of the four bolts from that broken pile and it sheered the bolts off,” said Jared Knerr who is the Licking County Engineer. 

Those bolts were sheered of because of a logjam.

Tress and branches were caught under the Staddens Road Bridge and knocked a pile lose which forced the county engineer to close the bridge.

“I’d love to get the bridge back open because it’s a long detour for people in that area, but I’m not willing to jeopardize anybody’s safety,” said Knerr.

Now residents in the area have to find a way around.

“Major inconvenience, major,” said Lance Chalfant 

Chalfant said this would affect his delivery company and the detour adds more time on his routes.

“It’s about an extra ten to fifteen minutes,” said Chalfant.

Those are minutes he said ill add to the money he spends on gas, but his trip isn’t as long as others.

“I measured it the other day right after they closed it and it’s 7.8 miles from my house to the dollar store over here,” said Henry Greg. “It used to be less than a mile. So that an extra 14 miles to get a loaf of bread.”

Henry lives within walking distance of the bridge and was here when this bridge was first constructed in 1975.

He said he is simply going to have to deal with his life being inconvenienced.

“I don’t know whether my hope makes any difference or not,” said Henry. “We’re stuck with it. There’s nothing I can do about it. If they don’t have the money, they don’t have the money.”

The county commission did declare this an emergency which could speed up the process.
Kneer told NBC4 he predicts the cost of replacing this bridge will be around $2 million dollars and that is money they don’t have at this point. 

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