Ravenna Township bridge on Newton Falls Road will reopen May 2023

The lanes of the Stow Street bridge in Kent have been narrowed to prevent further damage after the county engineer discovered minor degradation. The bridge is pictured here in March 2022. Wendy DiAlesandro/The Portager

A bridge on Newton Falls Road has been out since September 2021, but good news is just around the corner.

Portage County Bridge Engineer Bill Vermes says the county has contracted with Marucci & Gaffney, a Youngstown construction firm that will start work in October. Work is expected to be complete by May 26, 2023, Vermes said.

The bridge, a mile east of Peck Road in Ravenna Township, will be completely rebuilt. Marucci & Gaffney will remove the failed bridge, drive new pylons, build a new substructure and set a prefab concrete arch.

The May 26 completion date allows time to complete paving, which cannot be done until April (weather permitting), he said. Until the bridge is open, motorists will need to continue taking posted detour routes.

Stow Street bridge in Kent

Those orange barrels lining the south (downstream) side of Kent’s Stow Street bridge are here for the long haul, Vermes said. The county engineer’s office is working on a rehab study, and has hired a consultant to explore the cost and feasibility of repairing a defect discovered during a routine bridge inspection.

Bridge building 101: The bridge is made of concrete boxes that contain steel tendons. The bridge suffered a broken tendon in one of those concrete boxes after something, likely a crack, sent water into the box and rusted the tendon out. 

Until repairs can be completed, those barrels keep vehicles off the broken beam, which spans from the pier in the middle of the river to the east side abutment, Vermes said. And until the consultant’s final report is issued and funding sources are identified, no word on when the work will be done.

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Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.