County paves plans for bridges, roads
Written by JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN Sentinel County Editor
Tuesday, 08 January 2013 10:11
Wood County fixed several bridges, laid miles of water and sewer lines, and saw some business expansions, according to local officials who talked recently to members of the Wood County Township Association about progress made last year.
|A vehicle passes over the recently opened railroad tracks, heading south along Dunbridge Road. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
With many of the township officials employed in farming, Wood County Engineer Ray Huber noted the importance of agriculture to the county - and the need to keep fields drained in the land that was once swamp.
Last year, he said, the county cleared more than 31 miles of ditches and debrushed another 1.5 miles. This year, progress is expected on some larger stream projects, including the Portage River clearing and Sterling ditch, Huber said.
Thanks to all the ditches and streams traversing the region, Wood County is "blessed" with the second highest number of bridges of Ohio counties - numbering 443 structures that span 10 feet or more, Huber said. All those have to be inspected annually. And new federal standards now require every bridge to be load graded by October, he added. Approximately 80 percent have been completed so far.
"It is a chore for the office to do," Huber said.
The county engineer reported on bridge progress by his office, with six closed bridges being opened to traffic last year, with a total price tag of $1.8 million.
Those projects include bridges on:
• Greensburg Pike in Montgomery Township, for $140,000.
• Tracy Road in Perrysburg and Lake townships, for $116,000.
• Jerry City Road over Bull Creek, for $375,000.
• Jerry City Road east of Ohio 25, for $412,000.
• Ault Road in Perrysburg Township, for $204,000.
• Dunbridge Road at the railroad track in Dunbridge, for $300,000.
The county engineer also listed some of the larger road projects completed by his office last year, including improvements at Huffman and Kramer roads; resurfacing of Fostoria Road in Troy Township; surfacing of Kellogg Road and Tracy Road; and chip and seal applied to Pelton Road.
Keeping with tradition, the county engineer's office put new pavement markings on half of the county roads, with the other half to be done this year.
Township officials also heard about other progress in the county.
Wade Gottschalk, executive director of the Wood County Economic Development Commission, reported on some of the larger industrial projects in the county last year, including the Charter Steel expansion in Perry Township and the new Calphalon distribution center in Middleton Township.
"Any project we do involves a lot of different people to help get projects completed," Gottschalk said.
That teamwork, he said, continues to make "Wood County a great place to do business."
Lyle Schulte, of the Northwestern Water and Sewer District, reported on the growing participation of municipalities in the district and the projects in the works or in planning stages throughout the county.
He noted the increase in demands for water and sewer projects, with the district investing $15 million in projects in 2005, compared to $18.5 million last year. The district, Schulte said, had $68 million in assets in 1995, compared to $169 million now.
The district is continuing to work on finding long term sources of water and sewer treatment, he said. "We want to maintain economical rates," Schulte said.