NEW PARIS — The Spring St. bridge in New Paris could see a total replacement as early as 2019 if village council can raise funds needed to meet the terms of a federal grant.
Village council discussed options at a Monday, July 11, meeting, where Mote & Associates grants and funding specialist Susan Laux informed members that a grant received was twice as much as the village had requested from the government. The reason, she said, was because the terms prohibit a partial reconstruction as initially intended, instead requiring a full reconstruction. Council had hoped to keep the existing abutments in place and redo only the bridge deck.
“We can’t keep the abutments,” Laux said while presenting her findings. “They make you redo the whole thing. And the bridge is only 21 feet wide, and [to comply] it can’t be less than 24, and they really want it to be 28. So the abutments will have to be replaced and moved, so they decided to give us twice as much money so we can rebuild the whole bridge.”
The village is required to contribute 5 percent of the total cost, plus engineering feeds; the new total grant figure means a significant increase in the village’s fiscal responsibility. It also means an increase in engineering costs for building an entire bridge instead of a deck. Figures before the grant’s doubling showed a $11,700 cost to meet the 5 percent match and $47,400 for construction engineering, along with a potential $19,500 in right-of-way costs.
“That $19,500 depends on if we can get donated easements, how much we have to give to the bank, where the right-of-way lines are, and if we can get some of that right-of-way donated to do the abutments,” Laux told council. She believed the figure could be significantly lowered, and added, “That number can change as we get further into this.”
The new figures mean a maximum cost of $84,650 for the village, Laux said. “It also takes you from 70-30 in terms of raw dollars you put in and puts you in a new scenario where they’d put in 78% and your share would be 22 percent, because the construction went up so much.”
The Ohio Department of Transportation, she said, would then bid and do the construction. If acted on soon, the project would be on the federal 2019 fiscal year budget, which begins in July of 2018, according to Laux. Engineering, she said, would likely begin in 2017, with construction to begin in 2019 and completion in 2020.
In the event council decides the village needs more time to raise the funds, council has the option to delay by a few years, Laux said.