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Bridge Upcycling in Ohio

Photo of Elmore Bridge Construction in District 2

This bridge on Weber Road in Edgerton, Ohio, Defiance County, is rebuilt and reinforced with upcycled steel beams.

According to Habitat for Humanity, upcycling is the act of taking something no longer in use and giving it a second life and new function. In doing so, the finished product often becomes more practical, valuable and beautiful than what it previously was.

Partnering with the County Engineers Association of Ohio (CEAO), ODOT's Local Program staff are engaged in upcycling steel beams leftover from bridge projects that have been demolished or rehabilitated. So far two counties, Defiance and Muskingum, have successfully used  upcycled steel beams on several projects.

"It's of benefit to our county, of benefit to our communities, and we're not scraping valuable products," said Mark Eicher, Muskingum County Engineer.

Warren Schlatter, Defiance County Engineer, praised the program's cost savings benefits and is confident that the bridge is just as safe and just as strong as if they had used new steel. "So in the end the capacity of the bridge is not of concern. These are rock solid bridges," he said.

Mr. Eicher and Mr. Schlatter encourage broadening the program and invite anyone who is interested to reach out to them through the CEAO, or Jeff Petyon, ODOT Local Projects Manager.

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