Austintown bridge’s bumpy ride gets smoother

The New Road bridge over Route 11 in Austintown has been fixed

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – New Road over State Route 11 in Austintown looks and feels different than it has in weeks past.

Drivers will notice road crews leveled off the big bumps at each end of the bridge.

“When it froze, it pushed the pavement up. So that is why you saw the big bumps there at each end of the bridge,” Mahoning County Engineer Pat Ginnetti said.

John Walters noticed the improvement on Tuesday.

“It is just the bridge is real bad. Humps in front of it, but it is better now that they worked on it this morning,” Walters said.

The Ohio Department of Transportation and Ginnetti’s office are keeping an eye on the problem.

Officials said the uneven road was caused by water that got underneath the asphalt into the base and froze, and then expanded. Winter weather, along with the recent heavy rain and warmer temperatures also caused the issue.

Engineers want drivers to know the bridge is not sinking, but rather it is an issue with the 40-year-old expansion joints. The humps are gone for now, but they could happen again.

“Once the weather warms back up, that is going to settle and there is going to be a dip there. So we will have to come back again and put more material in there to try to make the transition smooth from the road to the bridge surface,” Ginnetti said.

Ginnetti knows the New Road bridge is not the only bridge in the county where drivers deal with bumpy conditions. In 2013, they did a major repair of the Yellow Creek Bridge in Struthers. And Ginnetti said the Center Street bridge in Youngstown has a tendency to do the same thing. 

The county plans to fix the New Road bridge over state Route 11 later this year.

“What we will probably have to do this summer is dig it up, put a better under drain in and make it exit outside the embankment far enough where it can drain properly during this time of year,” Ginnetti said.

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