ODOT reports a little-used bridge in Ross County over US 23 near the hospital will be permanently closed, starting Thursday.
This is Overbridge Road, the short connector between State Route 159 and River Road, that crosses over the freeway just south of Adena Regional Medical Center.
Deterioration has accelerated over the last two winters to the point that continued use of the bridge is not feasible, and there is no immediate plan to replace it because of the uncertainty of future infrastructure needs in this area.
Motorists can go by way of S.R. 207 to the north, or Bridge Street to the south. And while any detour is an inconvenience, the re-routing of Overbridge Road traffic is only about half a mile longer.
“This is a safety measure to protect motorists traveling over the Overbridge Road structure, as well as those traveling on U.S. 23,” said Ohio Department of Transportation - District 9 Deputy Director Vaughn Wilson.
Although the bridge lies on a county road, the structure is owned by the state, and ODOT and Ross County officials have been monitoring the bridge’s condition for several years. According to Wilson, the rate of deterioration has accelerated over the last two winters to the point that continued use of the bridge is not feasible, and the bridge’s deck, wearing surface and substructure are now in a condition in which continued maintenance and preservation are no longer a viable option.
Working with consultants from IBI Group, ODOT District 9 staff have been studying various alternatives to develop a masterplan for the U.S. 23/S.R. 159 interchange and surrounding connector roads; however, there is no immediate plan to replace the bridge due to the uncertainty of future infrastructure needs in this area.
“Our goal is to create more efficient traffic patterns for this growing area and construct roadway improvements as funding becomes available and as development dictates,” said Wilson.
“Given the bridge’s condition, motorists’ safety far outweighs the inconvenience of rerouting River Road traffic to either S.R. 207 or to Bridge Street,” noted Wilson.