EAST PALESTINE — A bridge in town was found by the state to be in critical condition in some areas, Village Manager Pete Monteleone told council on Monday.

He said the West Main Street bridge over Valley Run Creek was inspected by the Ohio Department of Transportation in June and was found to have a few critical issues.

ODOT instructed the village to reduce the allowable load to three tons, which was done immediately, Monteleone said.

He also said he asked MS Consultants to perform an inspection of the bridge as well.

The inspection results were returned to him last week and indicated that while the superstructure of the bridge and asphalt are both in good condition, the east and west abutments are the main problem areas.

“The problem area was the lower stone portion of the east abutment (which) is in critical condition with multiple stones missing and displaced,” he said in his written report to council.

He went on to say that support of the concrete cap of the east abutment is missing for more than half of the bridge width beneath several of the beams and the lower stone portion of the west abutment is in fair condition.

He said immediate action should be taken to stabilize the east abutment and prevent further scouring and erosion of the stone until a long-term fix or structural replacement can be determined.

“A possible long-term fix could be to salvage the existing box beams and reconstruction of new abutments and reuse the existing box beams,” he said, adding that hydraulic analysis and soil testing would need to be performed to find the best suited alternative.

“At this point MS Consultants is working to get prices on the short-term repair which they said could last for around three years while we determine how to approach a long term fix, and seek grant funding if possible,” he said.

In other business, council approved:

— Setting the salary for the new police chief at $59,000 a year. The new chief, Jim Brown III, was sworn in that evening by Mayor Margo Zuch. The salary legislation was approved by all on council except Brett Todd, who does not approve of the roughly $571 annual increase Brown’s salary has in comparison to outgoing chief Kevin Dickey.

— Emergency legislation authorizing Monteleone to enter into an agreement for the design of the water plant pump house expansion project with the Ohio Water Development Authority. The legislation was approved by all on council except Don Elzer, who feels that a fifth well is not necessary.


Originally published in Morning Journal News