Muskingum County can breath a sigh of relief when it comes to funding a local bridge project.
The county first believed that they would have to pay over $900,000 out of pocket to replace the Grant Cliff Bridge.
In a meeting Monday, with the Ohio Department of Transportation an agreement was reached where the county will pay up to $600,000 for the project.
"Any change orders, utility problems, any of that ODOT is going to take care of those issues," explained County Engineer Doug Davis. "In meeting with the commissioners they’ll be about $200,000 that my office needs to come up with this year to fund the beginning functions of this contract. The remaining $400,000 will be split between the commissioners and myself."
Davis said he’ll try and get some money from the Public Works Commission to help defer some of the costs. Once the bridge is replaced ODOT will take over its maintenance. It’s part of a deal struck in 2003, where the county assumed the maintenance of Airport Road and County Road 6. They also agreed to maintain the bridge until a new one was built. The agreement wasn’t ideal.
"There’s no one at ODOT that’s currently dealing with this issue," said Davis. "There’s no one within the county from commissioners or the engineer’s office that is currently employed there that is dealing with the issue that was signed years ago. It’s a little frustrating. It probably wasn’t such a great deal when it was signed, but then again we are not privy to negotiations that happened at the time that the deal was signed."
Work on the Grantcliff Bridge is scheduled for late 2014 or early 2015.