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Bridge 51 nearing completion

T-L Photo/CARRI GRAHAM Harrison County Board of Commissioners sign an appointment of Commissioner Dale Norris, left, to the Ohio Public Works Commissioner District 14 at Wednesday’s meeting. Also pictured is Commissioner Paul Coffland. Commissioner Don Bethel was absent from the meeting.

CADIZ — A project that has been underway for more than 6 years is neating completion, as Harrison County Bridge 51 is set to open by the end of October.

County Engineer Doug Bachman said that the newly built bridge is nearly complete at Wednesday’s meeting of the Harrison County Board of Commissioners. Commissioner Paul Coffland said the bridge has been closed for the past 6 years.

Coffland said he was on Harrison 51 on Tuesday and witnessed the construction crew working. Tallmadge-based J.D. Williamson Construction Company, Inc. has been tasked with rebuilding the approximately 175-foot-long structure, Bachman said.

Bridge 51, on Amsterdam Road, Harrison 51, was built in 1938. Due to the bridge’s dilapidated state it was closed and the former bridge was torn down.

“It’s been closed since 2013. … The old bridge was structurally deficient, it was completely torn down and a new bridge put in,” Bachman said.

Residents living on the road, and those driving through, have been forced to used a detour since its closing. One resident, who did not wish to be named, said the detour has been a “huge inconvenience.”

“People have gotten used to the detour, but I’m sure residents will be happy not to to use it anymore,” Bachman said. “We’re excited for the county road to be open again.”

The bridge will be open and operating at normal capacity by the end of this month, he said.

In other county matters, Coffland re-appointed Commissioner Don Bethel to serve on the Eastern Ohio Development Alliance. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Dale Norris. The term is from Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2021.

Bethel was absent from the meeting.

Commissioners also elected to appoint Norris to the Ohio Public Works Commission District 14 at the meeting. The term is for three years and includes full voting rights. Coffland made the motion to approve the motion, which was seconded by Norris.

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