January 16, 2012
After a few rainy days and delays, the Home Road bridge should be open Monday, weather permitting.
The newly-built Home Road bridge over the CSX Railroad between Sawmill and Liberty roads has been under construction since last year.
Originally scheduled to be completed Thursday, the bridge opening was delayed due to weather. Barring any complications, the bridge should open Monday, said Nancy Burton, public information officer for ODOT District 6.
The bridge is just south of the existing at-grade crossing. It will put vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic on a road that crosses over the railroad tracks.
In 2010, the section of railroad carried about 30 trains each day across Home Road. The intersection was often blocked by slow moving or stopped trains, delaying traffic on Home Road. The delays impacted motorists as well as school buses, police and fire services.
Home Road is a high-traffic east-west corridor in the south part of the county. The crossing is close to several schools and buses drive over the tracks on a regular basis, which makes for an inherently unsafe situation, county engineer Chris Bauserman said.
The remainder of the approximately $8-million project — paid in part by federal stimulus dollars, as well as state and county funds — is expected to be complete by November.
The project hit a few snags before getting underway last year. Funding was pulled in late 2009. Two days before the project was to go to bid, the state informed Bauserman that it over-committed its financial resources and wouldn’t provide the funding.
The county had already spent $3 million to acquire the land and draw up plans for the project.
In November 2009, ODOT found stimulus money to help pay for the project, setting it into motion again.
After the new Home Road bridge is open, ODOT will begin work on Old Home Road, including the construction of two cul-de-sacs. During that work, drivers will only be able to access Old Home Road from Old Liberty Road.
The detour for eastbound traffic on the Old Home is Sawmill Parkway to Hyatts Road to Old Liberty Road to Old Home Road. The detour for westbound traffic is New Liberty Road to Old Liberty Road to Old Home Road.