TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Building a new bridge means, the construction of that structure while also tearing down the old one. But what about the quality of the water during that construction?
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is working to keep the water safe as the Waterville Bridge is reconstructed.
ODOT's reconstruction of the bridge on State Route 64 over the Maumee River in Wood and Lucas County is expected to cost more than $20 million.
While construction isn't expected to begin until 2018, the Ohio EPA is examining the application for the water quality certification before ODOT can move forward with the project.
Wednesday during a public hearing, the Ohio EPA explained they will look at the impact of the project, justification for the plan and more.
"This is not something that is just done randomly or spur of the moment," explained Darla Peelle, public involvement coordinator with Ohio EPA. "Every step is spelled out in the application they provide to us and we follow that application, our technical staff and that of the Corps, will continue to be present on site to interact with the Department of Transportation during the process. "
ODOT has proposed a new concrete, decorative arch bridge along with a roundabout at State Route 64 and 65.
Their plan will impact the Maumee River and surrounding wetlands, but also a mitigation plan to purchase additional wetlands.
The Ohio EPA recently tested the quality of Maumee River's water and their rules are supposed to ensure the water's integrity during and after construction for residents.
"They can be assured that water quality standard will be maintained during the project and it will ensure that the water quality continues after the project is complete for drinking and for recreation," said Peelle.
Ohio EPA will be taking written public comments until April 26. If you want to submit something it can be mailed to the address below or emailed to EPA.DSWComments@epa.ohio.gov with the case I.D of #154637.
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
Division of Surface Water
Attn: Permits Processing Unit
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049
A decision will be made by mid-August and the application will go to the army corps of engineers for permit or denial.