Bridge ordered closed

EAST LIVERPOOL — Effective today, cement barricades will once again be placed at both ends of the Elizabeth Street bridge.

This decision was made after consultation with Norfolk Southern, officials from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), and Arcadis the firm hired to inspect municipal bridges by ODOT, according to a press release issued by city Service Safety Director Brian Allen

ODOT engineer Omar-Hajar said in a recent email “… fully closing the Elizabeth Street Bridge over the railroad to protect public safety. Leaving the bridge open to traffic without placing barricades and proper signage may allow for certain people to cross the unsafe bridge regardless to the orange signs placed now.”

Arcadis employee Christine Dohy advised, “Based on our inspection several years ago, this bridge shall remain closed to all traffic including safety vehicles. Please put the barricades back up on both ends of the bridge for the safety of the traveling public. Please send us pictures when this is done so they can be uploaded to ODOT’s site.”

Allen recently met with representatives from Norfolk Southern and was given assurance that the manual switch located in Pennsylvania that was creating the delays at the Putnam Avenue crossing had been replaced with an updated automatic switch and no further train delays should be occurring.

The mayor’s office takes public safety as a first priority and acting on advice from the professionals at ODOT has ordered the permanent closure of the Elizabeth Street bridge.

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