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​ Roche de Boeuf Interurban

 

 Upcoming Public Meeting

 
Public Meeting
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 
Waterville Primary School
457 Sycamore Lane, Waterville
5pm - 7pm 
Formal presentation at 5:15 pm
 

 Project Background

 
ODOT has proposed a project to address safety concerns associated with the Roche de Boeuf Interurban Bridge that crosses the Maumee River between Wood and Lucas Counties in Northwest Ohio. The earth filled arch structure, which originally carried an interurban trolley line for the Ohio Electric Company, was built in 1908. The structure was abandoned in 1937 and has fallen into disrepair.

The structure spans over the Maumee River which is a State Scenic and Recreational River, an Ohio Department of Natural Resources designated Water Trail, US Army Corps of Engineers Navigable waterway (Section 10), US Coast Guard regulated waterway, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency designated Warm Water Habitat and Primary contact recreation water (suitable for swimming), and mussel habitat stream, although not in this location. 

One of the northern bridge piers was built upon a natural bedrock island in the river, which has been a landmark since around 1750. The rock island is now called “Roche de Boeuf”, which has a modern translation to “rock of beef” or “rock of buffalo”. In the 18th century, French settlers called it “Roche de Bout”, “Roche de Boo”, “Roche de But”, or “Rose de Boo” which translates to “rock on end”. The rocky island is a historically important wayfinding point and meeting place.  Historically it was a documented meeting place for Native Americans and early settlers, and also for modern day festivals (Roche de Boeuf Festival https://watervillechamber.com/roche-de-boeuf-parade-and-festival/). About a third of the original rock island was removed during construction of the bridge.

 

 

 History

 
  • 1907 - Land bought by the Cincinnati & Lake Erie Railroad Company (formerly Lima and Toledo Traction Company)

 
  • 1908 – Interurban Bridge constructed and used as an electric interurban trolley line

 
  • 1937 - Tracks removed and bridge abandoned

 
  • 1941 - Waterville bridge (Mechanic Street) collapsed and the Interurban Bridge was used as a temporary auto crossing due to shortage of steel during World War II

 
  • 1943 – State of Ohio purchased the Interurban Bridge

 
  • 1946 – Traffic returned to Waterville Bridge with new truss 

 
  • 1972 – Interurban Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places

 
  • 1974 – Roche de Boeuf Bridge Historical Society made an effort to preserve the bridge – unsuccessful

 
  • 1983Highway Dept. (present day ODOT) deemed bridge unsafe for equipment traffic and the structure is no longer considered a bridge because it does not carry traffic and it is not over vehicular traffic.  It does not get a structure file number or yearly inspections like all other bridges owned by Public Agencies.

 
History of the ODOT project:

 
  • 2017 – October – ODOT receives letter describing safety concerns for watercraft

 
  • 2018 – January – ODOT kicks off project to improve safety

 
  • 2018 – April – ODOT sends invitations to Stakeholders (adjacent landowners, local governments, local emergency response agencies, local schools, local historical societies, State agencies, Tribal Nations, etc.) notifying them of the project to improve safety on the waterway.  

 
  • 2018 – September – ODOT sends letters to surrounding property owners notifying them of survey activities in the area

 
  • 2018 and 2019 – Land and environmental surveys occurred, data was collected, and Feasibility Study developed to research alternatives by ODOT hired consultants

 
  • 2019 – August – Stakeholder meeting – Alternatives analysis from the Feasibility Study and project information presented and feedback requested

 
  • 2019 – September & October – Revise Feasibility Study based on Stakeholder comments and advertise Public Meeting

 
  • 2019 – November 20 – Public Meeting to present project information and alternatives analysis from the Feasibility Study

 
  • 2020 – Revise Feasibility Study based on Public comments
  • Choose preferred alternative
  • Start engineering design

 

*Environmental processes such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and Section 4(f) of the USDOT Act of 1969 have started and will continue.​ 

 
 

 Funding

 
Funding is through State of Ohio funds. Please contact Stacy Schimmoeller if you know of additional funding sources that can be applied for, would like to help with funding application(s), or have alternative funding ideas.
419-373-4319
 

 Questions & Comments

 

​Please send project questions & comments to Stacy Schimmoeller:

Office: 419-373-4319

 
For public records requests, contact Cathy Puntieri:
Office: 419-373-4444

 
ODOT District Two
317 E. Poe Rd.
Bowling Green, OH 43402

 
 

 Public Meeting Documents

 
  
  
  
  
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 Project Documents

 
​Documents will be uploaded throughout the process, so check back.

 
Click here to view some historical photos of the bridge being constructed in the early 1900s: Roche de Boeuf Interurban Bridge - Waterville, Ohio​
 

 General Information and Mapping

 
 

 Cultural Resources

 
 

 Ecological

 
 

 Public Involvement

 
 

 Permits

 
 

 Comments

 
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