State officials will soon make a decision on the fate of the State Route 208 suspension bridge in Dresden.
The bridge was constructed in 1914 and bypassed in 1989 with the realignment of State Route 208. The last maintenance done on the structure was in 1997, when it was painted. The bridge was closed by the Ohio Department of Transportation with the safety of the public in mind.
“”The reason we’re kind of talking about the future of this suspension bridge is because of safety,” explained ODOT District 5 PIO Morgan Overbey. “The bridge is not in good condition. It has deteriorating concrete, part of the deck is starting to fall apart and there is some significant steel corrosion.”
During a virtual meeting with Muskingum County Commissioners, ODOT recommended the removal of the structure, which would cost between $1-$2 million, which would be funded by the state. Other more costly options include more than $6 million to make it structurally sound for pedestrians to walk on and over $3.5 million to rehab it and then it still couldn’t be used.
ODOT is giving the public 30 days to comment on their plan to tear down the bridge.
“Obviously we have our own recommendation, but that doesn’t mean that it’s set in stone. With anything for example the Muskingum 70 project when we had our public meeting we were discussing removal of some of those bridges and we removed that from the plans based on the public’s input,” said Overbey.
Public comment is open until February 25. Public comments about the project can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org