2 county bridge projects move forward

CORY BYKNISH | Herald fileThe Kelly Road Bridge over the Shenango River between Sharpsville and Hermitage is scheduled for bidding next year and replacement during the 2020-21 construction season.

MERCER — When bids came in for repairs to the Henry Road bridge in Otter Creek Township, the price was right, said Mercer County bridge engineer Brad Elder.

“I’m very pleased with the bidding process this time,” Elder said.

County commissioners approved a contract Thursday with Jet Excavating Co. of New Middletown, Ohio, for $327,750. Elder said the top two bids came within 1 percent of one another.

The Henry Road bridge project took on greater urgency during the storms on June 5, which washed out a culvert on Henry Road. Between the lost culvert and the deteriorated bridge, Henry Road has been of little use, township Supervisor John Canon told county commissioners at their June 6 meeting.

Elder said the contractor will now determine rehabilitation options for the bridge before beginning work, which should be completed later this year, by late November or early December.

The commissioners also approved a reimbursement agreement for the Kelly Road bridge through PennDOT’s Transportation Improvement Program. The Kelly Road bridge spans the Shenango River between Sharpsville and Hermitage.

Kelly Road Bridge is comprised of two one-lane spans, one built in 1876 and closed to vehicle traffic since 2006, and a second bridge built beside it in 1967.

Under the agreement, Mercer County, which owns the span, will receive about $4,750,000. With the bridge’s design stage completed, Elder said he expects to solicit bids in June 2020, with the construction to take place during the 2020-21 construction season.

Because the bridge provides the only access to about a dozen residences and a Shenango River Lake recreation area on its Hermitage end, PennDOT contractors would build a temporary span to permit crossing traffic during the project.

Follow Eric Poole on Facebook and Twitter @HeraldEricPoole. Email him at epoole@sharonherald.com