TO THE CITY OF LANCASTER From the federal infrastructure plan that President Biden signed into law for $1.2 trillion in 2021, the Fairfield County Engineer’s office will use funds to replace one bridge and repair another. To the dismay of county engineer Jeremiah Upp, only two projects, totaling around $493,000, will be funded by the federal government.
According to him, the infrastructure measure likely won’t provide any extra funding. “Yeah,” he said.
“There have been four rounds of funding go through. And so far we’ve only got the two bridges funded. So really, we’ve got one full job out of them and a little help of help on another is what we’ve got so far.”
Pickerington Road, between Brandt and Winchester Roads in Bloom Township, is home to one of the bridges. The other can be found a mile south of Hamburg Road on Christmas Rock Road in Lancaster. Box culverts will serve as the county’s new bridge replacement for Pickerington Road. Water can flow across a box culvert, which is not quite the same as a bridge. All $375,000 of this project cost is being covered by the federal government.
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The county will use the $143,000 in federal funding to rebuild the beams of the Christmas Rock Bridge. Overall, the project is estimated to cost around $350,000. Upp claimed a box culvert would outlast a bridge on Pickerington Road. “If we can take a bridge out hydraulically and get the same amount of water through that box and it doesn’t hurt anything, then every time we’ll put a box in,” he said.
Upp said there is no set date for when work on the bridges would begin this year but that it will occur this calendar year. Once construction begins, however, he estimates four to six months to finish the work on Pickerington Road and three to five months to finish the Christmas Rock Road bridge.