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Goulds to get temporary bridge

August 12, 2010
Mark Law

STEUBENVILLE - Jefferson County commissioners Thursday were told a temporary bridge will be installed on Goulds Road by the middle of October.

County Engineer James Branagan had previously said a temporary bridge would be too expensive - about $300,000. He said the first proposal he received was for the purchase of a temporary bridge. Subsequent proposals were for the much cheaper rental of a temporary structure.

Commissioners agreed to advertise for the installation of the temporary bridge.

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The existing bridge was closed as an emergency about a month ago because of structural concerns.

Branagan said the county will advertise for a contractor who will be responsible for renting the bridge for nine months and setting the structure in place. The cost estimate is $125,000. The county already is in the process of getting proposals to tear down the existing bridge.

Residents in the Goulds Road area have approached the commissioners with concerns about fire trucks and ambulances being called to the area because of the 20 minute detour. There also were concerns about school buses having to travel a hilly narrow township road, especially in the winter months.

Branagan said the county has secured $1.5 million in federal highway dollars but the money won't be released until 2016. He said he believes the county can borrow the money now, pay interest until 2016 and then pay the principle once the federal money is received.

The bridge probably won't be replaced until the spring of 2012, Branagan said, adding the delay is due to the lengthy process of getting plans approved by the federal highway administration. The county will be responsible for the rent payment of the temporary structure after nine months.

He said the temporary bridge will be one lane, with stop signs at either end. He said the federal highway dollars also may be used to pay the cost of the temporary bridge.

In other matters, commissioners discussed the ongoing odor complaints at the Apex Landfill outside Amsterdam.

County Commissioner Thomas Graham said he has been getting numerous calls about the smell, especially with the hot, humid weather.

"I've been speaking out against Apex for years with little result. It is a shame the residents have to live like that," Graham said.

County Commissioner Thomas Gentile said he hopes the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency starts paying attention to the odor complaints. But he said he doubts that will happen because of the money the state gets in tipping fees at Apex.

One neighbor of the landfill, Fritz Tulencik, said the proposal of Steubenville, Mingo Junction, Wintersville and Toronto starting a transfer station for garbage to be taken to Apex is a "just another slap in the face" to the residents near Apex.

"Different groups in the county are becoming cheerleaders for Apex. Money talks," he said. He said the community is seeing no benefit from Apex, an opinion shared by county Commissioner David Maple.

Maple said some of the the money from Apex paid to the Jefferson-Belmont Solid Waste Authority should be used for litter enforcement.

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