Bob Downing

Work is under way to replace a railroad trestle over Memorial Parkway in northwest Akron.

Replacing the bridge is a $1.7 million project that is being directed by the National Park Service, which owns the track.

The track should be open to trains by mid-May. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by the end of the month.

The construction is being done by Suburban Maintenance & Construction Inc. of North Royalton.

The new bridge will provide additional clearance for traffic on Memorial Parkway, said Mary Pat Doorley, a spokeswoman for the park service.

The new bridge will provide 32 inches of additional clearance, said park service Engineer Rob Bobel from 12 feet 10 inches to 15 feet 6 inches, he said.

Trucks strike the bridge roughly once a week on average, and those accidents cause significant damage to either the bridge or the truck about twice a year, Bobel said.

The bridge will be 60 feet, 8 inches in length.

A new deck and safety walkway for track inspectors will be installed and the concrete abutments will be rehabilitated.

Work began in late February.

Suburban Maintenance also is repairing the rail bridge over Furnace Run on the Cuyahoga Falls-Boston Township line in the Cuyahoga Valley park.

The bridge will be repaired, sand-blasted and repainted. The abutments will be repaired and a new deck with a safety walkway will be installed.

The price tag on that project is $515,000.

A box culvert on the rail tracks north of the Indigo Lake boarding area in Cuyahoga Falls is being replaced. It was deteriorated and unrepairable, Doorley said.

That project costs an additional $207,000.

Funding for the three projects came from three federal transportation funds.

The funding was committed two years ago, and the recent federal sequester did not affect the rail projects, Doorley said.

The park service intends to work on three bridges in the northern part of the Cuyahoga Valley park in 2014, she said.

Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or bdowning@thebeaconjournal.com.