Trying to curb truck traffic on Glade Run Road

(Posted July 15, 2020)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Madison County officials are looking for a way to decrease heavy truck traffic on Glade Run Road between Big Plain Circleville Road and U.S. Route 40.

Area residents complained to the county sheriff’s office and county engineer’s office about the increased number of semi-trucks using the road.

Bryan Dhume, county engineer, said that truck operators out of Cincinnati are bypassing London via Glade Run to get to the Amazon distribution warehouse in West Jefferson.

Dhume said it appears that the drivers are using navigation software that sends them on this route. He said Amazon has alternate software that would keep the trucks on state routes, but because the truck drivers are independent owner/operators, Amazon has limited control over what route they choose to take.

“Glade Run is not designed–neither in thickness or width–to handle that kind of traffic,” Dhume said.

County officials met with Amazon representatives several weeks ago. For a short time, the situation improved, Dhume said.

“But now the problem is getting worse and not better,” he said.

With the assistance of County Prosecutor Stephen J. Pronai, Dhume turned to the Ohio Revised Code to see if anything there addresses the situation. Nothing in the code allows the county to prohibit truck use on open county and township roads.

So, now the county is looking at weight limits on Glade Run. Dhume has hired DLZ Engineering to take core samples on Glade Run, Spring Valley, and Gregg Mill roads. He expects the engineers to report back to him in a couple of weeks with recommended capacity limits.

“Our hands are tied until we get weight limits on the roads,” Dhume said.

If weight limits are posted, he said he expects citations to be issued, and he expects those citations to be challenged in court.

“We want backup to justify the weight limits,” he said, referring to the core samples.

Bridges

Dhume received word on July 10 that the Ohio Bridge Partnership Program awarded the county $1 million in federal funding to rehabilitate the Middle Pike bridge over Little Darby Creek in West Jefferson.

“This is a big win for us,” Dhume said. “There were over 50 applications from around the state competing for $5 million, and we got $1 million of it. I’m excited to bring that money here.”

Because of its condition, the bridge can only handle 45 percent of its original load limit. Approximately 1,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day, including farm equipment. Farmers with full loads have to take a 10-mile detour.

The project will go out to bid in 2023.

Because the Middle Pike bridge project is a high priority, Dhume applied for funding for it not only through the Ohio Bridge Partnership Program but also the County Engineers Association of Ohio (CEAO). The association administers federal local bridge dollars annually.

With the Bridge Partnership money secured for Middle Pike, Dhume shifted his sights to CEAO funds for work on the Big Plain Circleville Road bridge over Deer Creek. The estimated cost of the project is $1.2 million. The association was scheduled to announce funding winners on July 16 (after the Messenger’s print deadline).

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