For the Weekly Record Herald
WEST MILTON — The West Milton Rotary Club program on Sept. 21 was a presentation by Paul Huelskamp, Miami County Engineer, and Britt Havenar, Chief Deputy Engineer, guests of program host Bob Johnston.
Paul and Britt spoke about the upcoming bridge levy in November, renewable every five years.
This levy had passed every election since 1951 and will generate $24 million for the five years. Unless the bridge levy is renewed in November, the bridge levy will expire.
Over the years, there have been 3,038 bridges and culverts built or replaced. Some counties rely on split revenues from alternate funds such as federal bridge building and Ohio Public Works Commission.
The oldest bridge in the county is the Eldean Bridge built in 1860 at a cost of $4024, and has just gone through recent renovation.
There are two major rivers in Miami County with 154 bridges at least 50 years old. Many of the bridges date back to 1913 and need replaced. Single lane and narrow bridges need to be modified to accommodate larger farm implements and emergency vehicles.
Inflationary trends impact construction costs which are only recouped through ongoing bridge levy funds. The projected revenue of $900,000 annually is needed to replace 20 bridges. Alternate funds are made available through the Federal Bridge building funds and Ohio Public Works Commission funds at a 80%/20% split.
More information on our county bridges can be found on the Miami County Engineer’s website at http://co.miami.oh.us/engineer/index.htm.