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Jennifer Demellweek

June 22, 2018

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Twin Peaks of Bluffton to disappear

Interstate bridge over abandoned RR slated for 2021 removal

Four Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) projects will impact traffic patterns in Bluffton over the next four years.

Jack Huber, village administrator, shared the projects with Bluffton council members on Monday.

The most significant is slated for 2021. It is the projected complete removal of the twin overpasses on Interstate 75 at Exit 142. The bridges are 0.3 miles north of Exit 142 at State Route 103.

The project involves removal of the bridges and reconstruction of the pavement over the abandoned railroad.

The overpasses were constructed to cross the Akron, Canton and Youngstown Railroad when the Interstate was constructed around Bluffton in the early 1960s.

The railroad was abandoned in the 1980s, but the twin bridges remained in place.

Jan Basinger, Bluffton EMS chief, said that the bridges are dangerous, especially when they are ice covered. He said that the bridges are perhaps to the most accident-prone location covered by Bluffton EMS.

A photo below shows a November 2016 accident on the bridges, which required a Lifeflight helicopter emergency landing. The bridges are not in the village limits. Other details of this project are not yet revealed.

Other projects:

2018 – Replace deck edges and overlay bridge decks and approach slabs on the Interstate bridges over Riley Creek, and overlay bridge deck on County Road 15 bridge over I-75.

2019 – Previously announced on the Icon - Replace State Route 103 (Jefferson Street bridge) over Riley Creek .

2019 – Resurface with asphalt concrete on State Route 235 from County Road 313 to State Route 186, excluding the overlap with State Route 12 and from State Route 613 to the Wood County Line.

2022 – Resurface with asphalt concrete and perform joint repair from 0.5 miles south of Napoleon Road to the bridge over Riley Creek, excluding a one-mile section through Beaverdam.