Bridge repairs spark battle

By Mike Sever Record-Courier staff writer Published:

"They're either going to fix the bridge or we're going to end up in court," Marozzi told county commissioners Tuesday.

The bridge, which serves a neighborhood west of Kent in western Portage County, has been closed since early February. An annual bridge inspection disclosed structural deficiencies in the wooden truss structure, Marozzi said at the time.

The railroad has offered to fix the bridge to accommodate a 4-ton weight limit, but Marozzi says that is inadequate for the normal traffic on the roadway. He wants the road restored to a 30-ton limit.

In his letter to William Callison, vice president for law and government relations of the railroad, Marozzi asks for repairs to start within 30 days.

If that doesn't happen, the county engineer says he will ask for a restraining order to close the tracks at the bridge site until repairs are made, or will ask a judge to order the bridge be removed and a grade crossing be installed at the railroad's expense.

"This is getting ridiculous." Marozzi said. "It's been two-and-a-half months since those people have had their bridge closed. It's getting ridiculous because of the run around" from the railroad.

In other bridge news, repairs have started on a second closed bridge.

Work on the Rock Spring Road bridge over CSX tracks in Charlestown is expected to take another week at least, Marozzi said Tuesday.

"We lost a week or two in repair time because somebody (from the Ohio Department of Transportation) said (the railroad) needed a permit," Marozzi said. ODOT's right of way for S.R. 5 apparently extends up to CSX's right of way, and a permit was needed so a CSX repair crew could cut a ramp from Rock Spring Road to the railroad tracks, he said.

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