WILMINGTON —There’s some light at the end of the tunnel — or in this case, the long-closed bridge over Lytle Creek in Sugar Grove Cemetery.
Construction began on the newest version of the structure Thursday morning.
However, what was up must come down — the project’s first phase involves removing the trusses and some demolition.
Work at the site will then stop for several weeks as repairs to structures are made off-site, but the project is expected to be complete in July.
“No pedestrian traffic will be permitted at this location from now until the end of the construction,” states the Facebook pages “Historic Sugar Grove Cemetery” and “Friends of Sugar Grove Cemetery”. “It is very important that patrons of the cemetery stay out of the work zone! Please do not attempt to cross Lytle Creek at this location until after the bridge is completely finished.”
Nineteen months ago — in August 2019 — Wilmington Safety/Service Director Brian Shidaker discussed resolutions involving the project during a report to Wilmington City Council.
Shidaker said then that a resolution would authorize him to execute an amended Local Public Agency (LPA) project agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for the bridge project.
Shidaker also told council in 2019 they had gone through the application process, adding there are “a lot of hoops to jump through” when dealing with federal funds — although Shidaker noted this was actually good news.
“The state and the federal government are requiring us to sign an amended agreement because the original was approved for $233,035 in federal funds. We were able to squeeze a little bit more money out of them, so now it’s $259,331,” Shidaker said in 2019, adding that the bridge had already been closed “way too long.”
If you have questions about the 2021 project, call the cemetery office at 937-382-6509.