In a meeting with the Muskingum County Commissioner’s, county engineer Doug Davis said his office has recently replaced a number of structures and torn down bridges, and replaced them with culverts. But the main topic was money and how to generate more funds to replace some of the county’s deteriorating bridges including the Philo Bridge.
"That’s a $20 million structure to replace. And it’ll take eight years to design that structure," said Davis. "Now that means you need to satisfy the Army Corp of Engineers, the Ohio Department of Natural Resource, the locks and dams and decide where the bridge is gonna go. Do your borings, do your soils. Does the bridge stay where it is or do you tear it down? It sits empty for three years so people drive around? Do you move it up stream or down steam, how do you pick the location?’"
Davis wants help answering those questions and he plans on holding community meetings in the near future to get input from the community. One idea up for discussion will be increasing revenue by adding on a $10 fee when driver’s renew their license every four years and another will be what bridges should be fixed first.
"We want to explain options. We need feedback from the public, what does the public want us to do? Don’t just tell us, ‘we want our blacktop road and we want that new bridge.’ We’re gonna have to prioritize these things and we need to know where does the public want us to go? We’re all elected officials, all right. I know what I need to do best, the commissioner’s know what they need to do best, but we need also, hear from the public so that they truly have an understanding of what’s going on."
The community meetings are planned for sometime in November, but dates are yet to be determined. Keep checking whiznews.com as we will keep you updated on when and where they will be.