Green Light for Temporary Bridge on County Road 29 in Lawrence County

Release Date: Sep 22, 2010

Contact(s): Gary C. Chancey, Public Affairs Staff Officer (740)753-0862, Gary Willison, Engineering Group Leader, (740) 753-0684

Nelsonville, OH – The Wayne National Forest announces the Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is making funds available to support the construction of a temporary bridge for County Road 29 in Lawrence County.  

Within the next three weeks, the Wayne National Forest is planning to award a contract that will construct a two-lane steel temporary bridge near the existing damaged bridge. The Forest anticipates contractors will complete the work before the end of November, as long as they do not experience any unforeseen delays.

“I understand the delay has been an inconvenience for many residents, but the cost to the county was going to be significant. I’m grateful for the assistance by the federal government to help us.” said Lawrence County Engineer David Lynd. “If the county had to go through normal channels, it would have taken a lot longer and be more expensive.”

In late July, heavy rains caused Storm Creek to flood and damage the existing bridge. The county engineer was forced to close the bridge to the public. It’s an important road for the communities livelihood (i.e. vital route for school buses), and provides the primary access to, and is located in the heart of, the Forest’s most developed and popular recreation area (Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area).

Soon after the incident, the Wayne National Forest applied for federal assistance through the FHWA Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads (ERFO) program. On August 11, 2010, a representative from the agency met with the Wayne National Forest and the Lawrence County engineer to assess the damage and verify it was eligible for funding under the ERFO program. (See meeting images)

While the bridge is located on County Road 29 and is under the jurisdiction of Lawrence County, it’s also designated as Forest Highway 2. Because of its designation as a Forest Highway, it was eligible for emergency ERFO funding to pay for the temporary bridge and eventually the construction of a new bridge.

“The designation will also allow both the temporary bridge and the permanent bridge to be installed at no cost to Lawrence County, this is due to the county engineer’s knowledge of the forest highway system,” said Forest Engineer Steve Marchi. “His early coordination with the Forest Service and federal highways was critical.”