PIQUA — The city of Piqua gave a presentation on their Great Miami River pedestrian bridge project during an open house held on Wednesday evening, bringing along with them their engineering consultant for the project to help answer any questions.
The existing pedestrian bridge, which is located near the old Piqua Power Plant off of South Main Street/County Road 25-A, was originally built to carry utilities across the river. It connects the Great Miami River Recreational Trail that runs south of Garnsey Street along the west bank of the river to Bridge Street, which runs parallel with the east bank of the river. Trail users continue south on Bridge Street for approximately 850 feet to connect with the trail on the east bank of the river.
City Engineer Amy Havenar said that the current pedestrian bridge in that location is a “stumbling block” for trail goers as it is not ADA-compliant and is deteriorating. The walking path on the bridge is also only four feet wide.
The city plans to construct the new ADA-compliant bridge for pedestrians over the Great Miami River near Goodrich Giles Park along County Road 25-A, which will provide better access for walkers and cyclists. It will also alleviate traffic behind the Piqua Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is where the current bridge leads.
The open house held on Wednesday evening was a requirement as part of their environmental study on the project. The environmental study and the design for the project are expected to be completed by June of this year, which is when the right-of-way acquisition is expected to begin. Construction of the bridge is expected to take place between the spring and fall of 2023.
The city is receiving grant funding from the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission in the amount of $995,760 for the project along with $300,000 in funding from the state’s capital budget. The city is continuing to look at other possible funding sources, such as the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
In May 2018, the commission approved engineering services for the Great Miami River pedestrian bridge. The engineering agreement is with LJB, Inc. The cost is not to exceed $230,000, which includes $196,421 for the design services, the environmental study and geotechnical investigation, and the development of right-of-way plans as well as a contingency. The construction cost is estimated at $1.7 million, according to current estimates from LJB.
Daniel Springer of LJB explained that they studied the load grading of the bridge between 2011-2012 and that they did a cost analysis for the project between 2015-2016. He said that they found it was not feasible to rehabilitate the current bridge and that it would be beneficial to move the bike way traffic away from Bridge Street.
Springer said that the bridge will be a two-span prefabricated steel truss bridge, adding that they found it was the most cost-efficient structure type for the project. The new bridge will also be capable of allowing an ambulance to pass over it in case of an emergency. There will also be a new trail alignment along County Road 25-A to the Goodrich Giles parking lot. Once the new bridge is constructed, the current pedestrian bridge will be closed to the public.
Representatives from Bike Piqua, the Miami County Park District, and the Piqua Wastewater Treatment Plant spoke in support of the bridge project during the open house.
Comments or questions regarding the project can be submitted to the city of Piqua by March 15. For more information, the city of Piqua can be contacted at (937) 778-2044 or email@example.com.