Adena residents worry over abandoned bridge, another bridge project nears opening
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio —
In Adena is a bridge that leads to an abandoned home, but not much else. Neighbors aren't worried about it acting a bridge - it diverts flood waters into their backyards. The fear is that more flooding could turn it into a dam.
Neighbors have experienced a deluge of flooding issues: dredged debris on the rotting bridge and flotsam farther downstream. The fear is the next round of rain like February’s floods could make it worse.
"I’m afraid the bridge is going to break loose from the bank and we get some more high waters, the bridge breaks loose, jams up against the tree--another bridge--you've got a dam. It just happened,” said neighbor Shawn Harris.
"My yard floods every time it rains because of this bridge,” said neighbor Christina Smith. “It comes up over the bridge, down the road and straight into my yard... I had six inches of water."
It's apparently no one's responsibility to care for the bridge, as it's on abandoned property. Harris said he's been frustrated looking for answers.
"I’ve reached out to village council, I’ve gotten in contact with the Soil and Water Conservation District; I’ve had calls to the army corps of engineers,” He said.
Now, there are eyes on the problem.
"It was just brought to our attention today by NEWS9,” said Jefferson County Commissioner Tom Graham. “And what we would do at this point is turn it over to our county engineer, who handles roads and bridges... And then he would do an evaluation to see what we could legally in regards to this matter."
Other neighbors have other concerns. Becky McLaughlin has been chopping down trees and battling bank erosion near the culvert beside her home. Her issues are also compounded by the bridge. Residents have a suggestion when the county engineer's office reaches them.
"Ideal solution? Have this bridge removed from the creek, and the debris from a fallen tree right down below it,” Harris said.
"I want to thank the residents of Adena for bringing this to our attention,” Graham said. “Certainly if there's a way to solve the problem for them, we will do whatever we can in regard to that within the boundaries of the law."
Furthermore, the bridge replacement project currently dividing the village of Adena is getting closer to opening. ODOT officials said the bridge is expected to be open before the end of March.