Port authority members discussed the need for the bridge removal with Billie Johnson and Tony Simoes of the Northern Ohio and Western Railway last week. Johnson is the general manager of the railway. Simoes is vice president of engineering.
The Northern Ohio and Western Railway is a short line railway that operates about 21 miles of rail in northwest Ohio. NOW is is headquartered in Tiffin and is part of the OmniTRAX rail company.
The two bridge overpasses are across the Sandusky River from each other and are connected by a bridge span over the river. The bridge span over the river would remain in place. Port Authority Chairman James Supance said removal of the bridge span over the river could be a future project.
The bridges to be removed stand side-by-side with railway bridges that serve the Norfork Southern Railway. Bridges owned by the Norfork Southern are in use and would remain in place.
Johnson said the total cost for removing the Riverside Drive overpass bridge and the Water Street overpass bridge was estimated to be $102,420. Concrete peers in the middle of the road at the Riverside Drive location would remain.
Simoes said concrete periodically falls from the Riverside Drive rail overpass bridge. He said, at the very least, concrete should be chipped out of the bridge to prevent more falling concrete.
Supance asked Simoes to prepare bid specifications for various parts of the project. Port Authority members may move to seek bids after their next meeting, to be held June 26.
Supance said the Port Authority has removed four other unneeded railway bridge overpasses since taking ownership of the rail line in 1991. The bridge overpasses at Riverside Drive and Water Street are the last two needing removal, Supance said.
The Port authority also approved a plan to complete repairs to the railway at Maple Grove. At that location, railway is to be raise a few inches and a switch repaired.
PHOTO BY KEVIN RISNER
Concrete sometimes falls from the railway overpass bridge over Riverside Drive. The Sandusky County–Seneca County–City of Tiffin Port Authority is considering a plan to eliminate the problem this year.