Norfolk Southern Railroad Improvements

Norfolk Southern Railroad Improvements

Construction anticipated in late 2022 or early 2023

The Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge crosses the Blanchard River west of Cory Street. The current bridge was constructed in the early 1900’s and serves as a barrier to waterflow when the river level rises above the riverbank. Designs are currently underway to build a new bridge which would elevate the bottom of the bridge and increase the span of the bridge from 150’ to 300’. The project proposes to replace the existing Norfolk Southern two span bridge with a longer three span and to excavate a floodplain bench beneath the new span on the north bank of the river. The project team is working closely with Norfolk Southern for design approval. The design is currently 30% complete and under review by Norfolk Southern.

The proposed floodplain bench will continue the bench excavated as part of the Hydraulic Improvements Phase I Project. This project is expected to lower flood levels by 0.3 ft at Main Street in a 100-year storm event.

The benefit-cost ratio (BCR) is determined by dividing the present value of total estimated economic benefits by the present value of estimated costs of the recommended improvements. The ratio of benefits to costs must exceed 1.0 to be considered for advancement under Ohio Conservancy Law.

At the time of the Proof of Concept, Hydraulic Improvements Phase I and the Norfolk Southern Railroad Improvements projects were considered one project, Hydraulic Improvements. This project was calculated to have a benefit cost ration of $4.64:$1 at the time of the Proof of Concept.

The estimated final cost for this project has not been determined. The funding mechanism for this project has not been finalized but may be covered by a combination of funds from the 0.25% Hancock County sales tax for flood mitigation, grants, and other unidentified sources.