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Congressman, village officials meet on riverbank situation

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Pomeroy, August 23, 2017 | comments
Congressman Bill Johnson made an unplanned stop in Pomeroy last Tuesday at the request of acting Mayor Don Anderson.
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Pomeroy Daily Sentinel
By Sarah Hawley
Published August 23, 2017

Congressman Bill Johnson made an unplanned stop in Pomeroy last Tuesday at the request of acting Mayor Don Anderson.

The Congressman had a full schedule that included a broadband meeting at the Chester Courthouse and a visit to the Meigs County Fair, but agreed to meet with Anderson and council member Nick Michael concerning erosion and slippage along the riverfront.

“Erosion along the river in Pomeroy is an important, public safety emergency,” Johnson said. “Slippage is threatening a very narrow section of highway. This is a serious situation.”

According to Anderson, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Ohio Department of Transportation have already presented the village with an estimate of $1.92 million; that price tag includes restoration and repair, along with necessary paving at the site of the slippages, located near the Pomeroy Municipal Building and the deteriorated historic wall in the downtown parking lot. In between the two sites the Army Corps of Engineers proposes stabilizing selected areas of the riverbank to prevent further erosion.

The village secured grants for their 35 percent share of the repair cost. The Army Corps of Engineers has not received its funding, raising concerns that unless the work begins soon, the slippage will worsen and perhaps lead to road closure and additional repair costs. Another concern is safety for commuters if this heavily traveled narrow stretch were to collapse.

“We really don’t know how far the erosion extends until the engineers begin repairs,” Anderson said. “We know that it extends under the walkway, but how much has eroded under the road is unclear.”

Michael said that a river town has unique and sometimes complicated highway issues that are affected by river traffic and floods, and added “It is nice to see someone from the federal level take an interest in Pomeroy, to have someone who sees the struggles of a small village close up.”

“The village is very hopeful Congressman Johnson will be able to expedite the funding process for the project, “ Anderson said. “ We need to have this done sooner than later.”

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