A primary overpass across Black Hawk Run tributary on the north side of Indian Lake is scheduled for a complete upcoming replacement, and the impending two-month closure will impact motorists passing through; campers and other state park traffic; and emergency first responders.
A bridge across Black Hawk Run tributary into Indian Lake is slated for a two-month total closure beginning about March 5 through May. (EXAMINER PHOTO | NATE SMITH)
The bridge is located in the 14000 black of north State Route 235 between township roads 93 and 250 at Barnes Landing. It is scheduled to close on or about Tuesday, March 5, and will remain closed to all traffic for about two months through the first half of May, according to information from the Ohio Department of Transportation District 7 office.
Timing of the bridge replacement has been scheduled to occur between Indian Lake Boat Show weekend and the Memorial Day holiday — when summertime lake-goers begin to arrive in earnest. The Indian Lake Boat Show is March 1-3.
A total closure of both lanes is the “safest and most effective” way to replace the bridge, said Mandi Dillon, ODOT District 7 spokeswoman.
Local resident Nelson Barnes, whose property covers about 11 acres around and approaching the bridge, has expressed some concern about completely closing off the overpass to all traffic for 60 days. The bridge has been replaced two times previously; in 1926, and in 1982, but has never before necessitated a total closure of the road, he said.
“And I’m old enough to remember,” the 95-year-old lifelong Indian Lake resident said recently.
Speaking from his pickup truck parked in a snow-and-ice covered lot next to a series of boat docks he owns near where Black Hawk Run creek feeds into Indian Lake, Mr. Barnes said he believes ODOT would be better served to find a way to keep one lane available to through traffic at least part of the time.
He has pictures from when the bridge was closed in the 1980s which feature a temporary stop light that maintained traffic as crews worked on one lane at a time.
Indian Lake EMS is the ambulance service of record in that area. Chief Adam Niederkohr said the detour stands to add an extra 7-10 minutes depending on the weather from station headquarters in Lakeview to any call for service in the Arrowhead, Sassafrass or Avondale communities.
The detour that Indian Lake EMS plans to take involves taking Stokes Township Road 93 into Hardin County, and connecting with east State Route 385 before rejoining S.R. 235 by way of T.R. 250.
“It will definitely add response time,” the chief said in a text message.
He also indicated that BMRT squad in Belle Center may get dispatched for mutual aid to respond to calls for service on that side of Indian Lake.
“I just don’t want people to get caught off guard,” Mr. Barnes said. “Before, only one lane was closed, and cars, and school buses and emergency departments could still get through, but it’s going to take a lot longer to have to go clear around the township roads.”
An increase in traffic in the area of S.R. 235 at T.R. 250, especially from RVs, campers and boats is also a potential hazard, Barnes said.
“What you’re going to have is a greater chance for accidents in an area where it’s going to take longer for the emergency personnel to get there,” he said.
Pre-construction meetings are scheduled before the start of construction, ODOT reports. Contact the local ODOT office at (937) 492-1141.