“If we are unsuccessful with that application cycle, we plan to apply for grant funding through ODOT’s Municipal Bridge Program on or before Aug. 15,” he said.
The estimated cost of the project is between $350,000 and $400,000.
The city previously submitted a 2019 grant application to ODOT for their 2019 Municipal Bridge Program for the replacement of this bridge, but they were not approved “due to funding limitations and the overall competitiveness of the grant program.”
The bridge is open to traffic, but is only posted for 45% of the legal load and was rated a 4 out of 9 in May 2019 by an ODOT consultant, Crabill said.
Although it is underground, there are signs on both sides of the bridge that reference the weight restriction of the 45% of legal load.
The bridge is connected to the Town Branch, which is a major drainage conduit for the city and drains significant sections of the eastern and southern portions of the city, according to Crabill. It was not recognized by the city on its bridge inventory until November 2018 when it developed a hole through the bridge deck.
“At that time, the Urbana City Engineer reached out to ODOT to request further assistance in appraising this bridge and obtaining a load rating for this bridge,” according to Crabill.
Along with the bridge being 104 years old, Crabill said another reason for replacing this bridge is convenience due to where it’s located and that it’s “structurally deficient.”
“Due to this bridge being on a city street, Urbana started to work to obtain funding in order to ensure the expedient replacement of this bridge. The inventory and appraisal of this bridge further revealed that this bridge was originally constructed in 1916,” according to Crabill. “Furthermore, this inventory and appraisal determined that the bridge is structurally deficient.”
The bridge was also declared an emergency at a city council meeting in January, which means that the legislation to apply for the funding for the bridge went into effect after signature by the mayor instead of the standard 14 day waiting period for council legislation, Crabill said.