MCDONALD, Ohio (WYTV) – It has been six years since motorists have been able to use the Olive Street Bridge to go between McDonald and Niles.
But the wait is finally over. The bridge will reopen to traffic on Aug. 1.
Trumbull County Engineer Randy Smith and the mayors of both towns made the announcement Thursday at the bridge, which closed in 2009 because of structural concerns.
A joint effort between the engineer’s office, the Ohio Department of Transportation and $6.6 million in federal grants allowed for the bridge to be torn down and completely rebuilt.
For six long years, drivers have had to take a detour to navigate between McDonald and Niles, adding at least 10 minutes and a lot of turns to the drive.
Business owners in the area are especially excited.
“It is going to mean a great deal to us. We opened actually a year ago Aug. 1, so we don’t know what it is like to have it open,” Tammy Camuso, owner of Vertical Runner of McDonald said. “We have many customers from the Warren-Niles area that complain they can’t find their way here because the bridge is closed.”
Niles and McDonald officials are planning several events on Aug. 1 to celebrate the reopening, including a parade, a 1-mile fun run, food vendors and a walking tour of the new bridge. An itinerary is expected in the coming weeks.
At Thursday’s announcement, the mayors of McDonald and Niles both spoke of the cooperation between the two communities.
“The city of Niles, they have always treated us very brotherly and so that keeps the communication going. This bridge was built in 1919 and so to have it re-established and make sure the communities are linked together,” McDonald Mayor Glenn Holmes said.
“It is real important. It gets our communities back together, Weathersfield Township, McDonald and Niles. And our residents,” Niles Mayor Ralph Infante said.