This past month, the City of Newark, Ohio, shut down the deteriorating Showman Arch Bridge on Cherry Valley Road without notice, disrupting traffic flows and angering much of the community. As a result, the city plans to reopen the crossing with a temporary 160-foot-span bridge.
The Newark, Ohio, City Council approved the necessary resolutions to provide American Rescue Plan funds and waive bids to cover the cost of the 1.5 million dollar emergency project. The temporary solution will sit above the current bridge, resting upon foundations at either end. This will allow travel to resume without further damaging the aging bridge.
U.S. Bridge is responsible for constructing the temporary bridge and will install it at the site in sections starting in early 2023. Upon installation, traffic will resume on the temporary bridge without load limits.
City Engineer Brian Morehead told the press the closure wasn’t due to visible changes in the bridge. Rather, a federal official closed the bridge after a separate evaluation.
A New Bridge for Newark, Ohio
Initially, the 189-year-old bridge carried water, not traffic, with a connecting roadway that potentially houses ancient pottery and arrowheads. Morehead says that digging for artifacts from Native Americans shouldn’t slow down the project.
A new three-span steel girder bridge will connect Thornwood Crossing to Thornwood Drive. Reddington Road, Thornwood Drive, and a relocated River Road will connect to the bike path with a new roundabout.
The Showman Arch Bridge stood firm despite showing cracks and other signs of decay when ODOT and city engineers started monitoring the bridge 33 years ago.
Once the permanent structure is up in 2025, the temporary bridge will be taken down and reserved for later construction. Meanwhile, the Showman Arch Bridge will stay open strictly for pedestrian use.
Addressing the Congestion
Unfortunately, the sudden closure of the bridge in Newark, Ohio, has caused backlash and traffic congestion. This presents a serious issue because the absence of a bridge has slowed response times from the fire station on West Main Street and made it difficult for medics to enter Licking Memorial Hospital.
U.S. Bridge understands the community’s frustration, and we are dedicated to providing the City of Newark with a fluid path to ease congestion. The final plans envision a semi-truck-friendly economic development corridor from Ohio 16 to Interstate 70.
U.S. Bridge: Serving Ohio and the World
Based out of Cambridge, Ohio, U.S. Bridge is proud to serve all of the U.S. and the rest of the world. Over 80 years ago, we laid the foundation for providing dependable service and products.