ODOT holds meeting about removing Lanterman Road Bridge in Austintown
The Ohio Department of Transportation is considering tearing down the Lanterman Road bridge spanning Interstate 680 in Austintown.
Thursday evening, more than 30 people gathered for the public meeting held by ODOT at Four Mile Run Christian Church in Austintown.
ODOT said it would cost about $3.8 million to repair the bridge that was built in the 1960s.
It would cost $460,000 to tear it down.
Not having a bridge, though, is a significant concern for the Austintown Fire Department.
The chief said they'd tested the response times not using the bridge over Interstate 680, and it added about three and a half minutes.
"Our total response time would be about eight minutes to that area," said Chief Andy Frost.
Seventy-year-old Jim Murphy has lived on Lanterman Road for more than 40 years.
He is worried about the possibility of losing the bridge for a number of reasons.
"It's the school buses, it's the police, it's the fire department, it's everything," stated Murphy.
Jackie Pandrea, who also lives on Lanterman Road, echoed similar concerns as she cares for her 14- year- old son who's had five open-heart surgeries.
She fears the few extra minutes first responders would take to arrive without the bridge could mean life or death for her son.
"in case of an emergency, my biggest concern is rerouting and taking more time to get to us," said Pandrea. "One minute, two minutes, could mean his life."
ODOT is considering all of the concerns.