An $8.8 million renovation of the Main Street bridge over the Great Miami River in Dayton could begin as soon as next week, a project that will scramble traffic patterns and reroute bus passengers for more than a year.
The Ohio Department of Transportation plan calls for replacing the current bridge, constructed in 1956, from the beams on up, keeping the existing piers but patching them.
The new concrete bridge deck will be more inviting to pedestrians and bicyclists, said Mandi Dillon, ODOT spokeswoman.
“Functionality of the new bridge will be more favorable to the pedestrians with the wider sidewalks. Also, there will be bike lanes added in each direction, which was not on the existing structure,” she said. “Even though the new bridge width will stay the same, the wider sidewalks and bike lane additions were possible by eliminating the existing center island.”
Sidewalks on the 592-foot bridge increase from just over six feet to eight feet wide.
The work will begin as soon as temperatures allow for temporary striping to stick properly to the pavement, Dillon said.
ODOT plans to keep one traffic lane running in each direction through most of the project expected to last through the fall of 2019. But due to safety issues, the bridge may be closed on some nights and weekends, according to ODOT. Those closures to remove and install beams and during large concrete pours would be scheduled between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. and on weekends from 8 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday.
Whether the bridge is closed for one night or an entire weekend, message boards will be erected in advance to notify the public of the scheduled closure.
Complete General Construction Company of Columbus was awarded the project.
The Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (RTA) will reroute several of its fixed route bus services for several months beginning next week. Some RTA routes that normally run on electric trolley lines will use diesel buses during the construction, according to the RTA. Bus reroutes will also be in effect during bridge closures.
The bridge’s lighting foundations and concrete half parapet will be blue-gray color with black metal railing. The exterior bridge beams will be green-gray while interior beams will be brown. The decorative light poles will be painted black with two luminaries.
The bridge project will take up slightly more conservation land near the bike path on the south end. Due to the federal Land & Water Conservation Act requiring replacement, ODOT purchased a dilapidated apartment building at 926 Old Orchard in Dayton to tear down and return the land to a park. Asbestos abatement will begin within the next few weeks. The demolition deadline is June 1, according to ODOT.
RTA bus route changes:
Route 8: All stops in both directions on Riverview Avenue between Main Street and Grafton Avenue will be missed during the reroute. Northbound buses will use Monument Avenue to Riverview Avenue to regular routing on Salem Avenue. Southbound from Salem Avenue will continue across Salem Avenue to First Street and right on Ludlow Street to the regular route.
Route 12: Northbound stops on West Riverview Avenue between Main Street and Great Miami Boulevard will be missed. Northbound buses will use Monument Avenue to Riverview Avenue to Forest Avenue to the regular route. Southbound routing will not change except during the intermittent bridge closures, when southbound stops on Riverview will be missed as Route 12 will use the First Street Bridge to access Ludlow Street and back to regular routing.
Route 65: No stops will be missed, but the northbound Route 65 cannot turn left from Main Street to Riverview Avenue, so it will be rerouted from Main Street up to Great Miami Boulevard, left onto Riverview Avenue and then left onto McDaniel Street to regular routing.
Route 7: Route 7 will only detour during the intermittent night closures of the Main Street Bridge. During those times, stops on Monument Avenue and the stops on Main Street between Monument Avenue and Babbitt Street in both directions will be missed. Northbound trips will take Jefferson onto First Street, to Patterson (turns into Riverside), left onto Babbitt Street and right onto regular routing on Main Street. Southbound trips from Main Street will turn left onto Babbitt Street, right onto Riverside, right on Monument and left onto Ludlow Street to regular routing.