Clinton Street bridge project

Pictured is an overview of the Clinton Street bridge project in Defiance captured from the Sensory Effects Powder Systems site midday Wednesday.

DEFIANCE — The Ohio Department of Transportation reported, despite some progress made on the Clinton Street bridge project in downtown Defiance, construction is behind schedule and the bridge opening will be delayed.

“The water levels we’ve seen in the river this spring are the highest in quite some time, according to folks in the Defiance area,” stated a press release from ODOT District One. “The water level is keeping work within the river from occurring and is the reason the project is currently behind schedule.”

The $8.3 million project will completely replace the bridge which carries state routes 15, 18 and 66 over the Maumee River. The bridge closed Feb. 25 for approximately nine months, making the final project completion date in July 2020.

The planned original opening of the bridge was Nov. 22 of this year. A late December date is now more likely when delays occurring in April are accounted for, and this is yet to consider delays accounted for in May.

However, the press release states there are still possibilities the lost time can be made back.

The north side of the bridge

“Even though work in the river has been hampered, we’ve been creative in re-sequencing the work to keep some things actually ahead of schedule,” the release stated in regard to work on the north side. “The north bridge abutment wall is complete as are the beam seats – the place on the abutment wall where the bridge beams will sit, or attach. In a couple weeks we expect to resume work on the retaining wall on the shared use path which will accommodate pedestrian and bicycle traffic beneath the bridge. Also ahead of schedule is the storm sewer work on the north side.”

The south side of the bridge

“On the south side, we are finally down to demolishing the last pier below the water line,” the release reports. “Work on the south abutment wall and sanitary lines is under way. On Monday, we poured one of the piers for the abutment wall and expect to pour the second this week.”

History uncovered during work

“Most recently we unearthed two wagon axles on the north side of the bridge,” the release states about findings made during the project. “On the south, we found submerged timbers from what we think was once a horse livery. The timber appears to have mortise and tenon features and a signature wooden peg is seen in one log. Paul Hixon with Great Lakes Construction, our contractor on the project, said he found the timber while digging in the location where a drainage pipe will be located. We’re not sure if the wood qualifies as sinker wood, as it’s called in the south, but it’s definitely old and from the 1800s, we believe. Any local historians care to chime in?”

A time-lapse video of the project is currently available online at,%20Clinton%20Street%20bridge,%20April%20through%20May%202019.mp4?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

(Information courtesy of the Ohio Department of Transportation District One.)

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