ST. CLAIRSVILLE - The bike trail is seeing an upgrade as part of an Ohio Department of Transportation project to repair I-70. City Service Director Dennis Bigler said the work is almost complete and should be finalized by spring.
He said a bridge has been replaced with a tunnel located a few hundred yards south of the gazebo at the I-70 crossing. Bigler said replacing a bridge would mean costly maintenance, so a concrete arch was constructed. Work took about seven months. ODOT maintained the trail during that time and the path through the tunnel was opened two weeks ago.
The tunnel is 250 feet long by 16 feet high with a lit interior. It will be completed in spring when warm weather allows for paving of the interior. Bigler said this was an ODOT project completed at no cost to the city.
He pointed out the deep foundations near the bedrock, noting steps were taken to avoid water drainage problems seen by the larger tunnel.
He added that there has been considerable positive feedback.
Next year, work will begin on the north portal of an older tunnel. This project will include drainage, lining and a void above the tunnel will be filled. The cost will be $425,000, with 80 percent paid for by an ODOT enhancement grant. On completion, the tunnel should be stable for decades.
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