No cash to fix busy road in East Liverpool

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WYTV) – For the second time in two years, Lisbon Street in East Liverpool will be closed. This time, there’s no reopening date in mind because the city doesn’t have the funding to fix it.

The hole in the street is still small enough that cars can get over it, but soon it could be a different story. Safety Service Director Brian Allen said there are two sections of roadway that have holes. They appear small on top, but there is a bigger problem below.

“Below the roads, there are large holes. One as deep as 13 feet,” Allen said.

Allen said the drains under the road have failed, causing the holes to form.

The city is closing Thursday a highly-used portion of Lisbon Street that stretches from 9th Street to Route 7 as officials look into funding sources to make the repairs.

Along with Lisbon Street, Garfield Street is collapsing and the wall is about to cave in on St. Clair Avenue. Allen said once those projects are addressed, they can focus on Lisbon Street.

In order to fund state highway repairs within city limits, the city is supposed to use $360,000 it receives annually from the state in gas tax revenue. But Allen says just replacing the 30-year old drains will cost a lot more than that.

“You put steel underground and over time the salt is going to eat away and that is what has happened,” Allen said.

East Liverpool asked the Ohio Department of Transportation to help fund the project. Although ODOT helped with the Lisbon Street project last year, they said the work falls on the city’s shoulders. They issued the following statement:

ODOT has gone above and beyond to help East Liverpool with several recent issues within the city despite the fact that Ohio law is very clear about who is responsible for maintaining infrastructure within municipalities.Roadways, curbs, drainage structures, and culverts within a city’s corporation limits are the responsibility of that city.

ODOT will continue to provide guidance to the city if asked and assist with the detour until the city is able to make the needed repairs.

“We are going to do some camera inspections tomorrow to verify exactly what it is to build the cost estimate,” Allen said.

Until the city gets the money, Allen said they don’t know when Lisbon Street will reopen.

The detour for state route traffic will begin at Route 267 at Route 11 in Glenmoor. Drivers will be directed south to Route 7. Local traffic will be permitted to use 9th Street.