CONNEAUT — Conneaut Township Park officials are seeking grant funds to save a bridge.
Park Commissioner Michael Smith said the bridge was designed in 1929 and built in 1930.
“So it’s 91-years-old, and it’s showing its age,” Smith said.
Park commissioners had engineering work done on the bridge, which found a number of issues. The first indications that the bridge needed work were cracks along the railings on either side of the bridge, Smith said.
“We knew there might be underlying problems, and there are,” Smith said.
The road deck is in poor condition, and only has a single layer of rebar in it, Smith said. The approaches to the bridge also need to be excavated and rebuilt, Smith said.
“It’s like 20 feet of road before you get to the actual bridge part, and they have sunk about two inches,” Smith said.
Water flowing from the gutters of the bridge also needs to be diverted from where it currently runs, Smith said.
“Even though it lasted 91 years, this is bad for business, because the water gets in there and it freezes and it thaws, and this is part of our problem,” he said.
The bridge can be saved, Smith said. The method of doing so is labor-intensive, requiring workers to number and remove each stone, he said. Six courses of stone blocks will have to removed, taking the railings to just below the road bed. Then work will have to be done on the road bed.
The cost of the repairs is estimated at $346,000, Smith said. The park is willing to pay for half of the cost, if it can find a grant to pay for the rest, Smith said.
“So we’re not just sitting there with our hand out for money, but we’re willing to commit half the cost of repairing the bridge,” Smith said.
Park commissioners are seeking community development block grant funds to pay for half the project.
The bridge, which crosses Kelsey’s Run, is the backdrop for a battle as part of D-Day Conneaut.
“We’re trying to get the most bang for the buck for the people that support Township Park,” Smith said.