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The Suburbanite
  • Route 172 bridge decks are put in place

  • State Route 172’s new bridge over a railroad track in Canton Township is taking shape as workers install concrete beams that will support the deck.

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  • As workers place long concrete rods over the gap in state Route 172, a prime route into eastern Stark County is gradually coming back together.
    A portion of Route 172 (Lincoln Street E) has been closed just west of Trump Avenue this summer as the Ohio Department of Transportation launched a $2.4 million project to replace the bridge over the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway track.
     “It was an old bridge, past its useful life,” Justin Chesnic, an ODOT spokesman said. “We inspect our bridges annually. We took out the old bridge, got rid of it. We are putting in a completely new bridge.”
    Workers spent Thursday placing the seven pre-cast concrete “I” beams, each weighing about 60 tons. These beams, which are placed horizontal, will support the bridge deck. There will not be any vertical piers under the deck.
    The bridge deck “should be poured within the next three weeks,” said Steve Hermann, general manager for J.D. Williamson Construction of Tallmadge, the prime contractor for the project. “There are some utilities that go on that bridge; water line and gas line.”
    Installing the beams required construction workers to use two huge hydraulic cranes that are capable of lifting at least 300 tons.
    The bridge on the state highway sits between Meyerson Avenue SE and Glavera Avenue NE, half mile east of Canton. About 6,600 motorists travel over the bridge daily, according to ODOT traffic-count estimates.
    “The road is supposed to remain closed through late October,” Chesnic said. “The project will probably be completed in mid-November.”
    ODOT’s new bridge will be 46 feet wide and 120 feet in length.
    About two miles east, in the middle of East Canton, ODOT has another construction project on Route 172. This $700,000 project is at the Route 172 (Nassau Street inside East Canton) at Route 44, also known as Wood Avenue.
    Wenger Excavating of Dalton is the contractor. The project involves installing a new concrete road surface, sidewalks, storm drainage infrastructure and road base.
    That project also is expected to be complete in November.