New Bridges in Ohio to Receive Fences

The Ohio Department of Transportation has agreed to install fences on all new bridges constructed over other roads.

The change was prompted in part by lobbying done by the family of a Stark County teacher who was nearly killed after being struck by a rock thrown from an overpass that smashed through the windshield of a car in which she was a passenger traveling on Interstate 80 in Pennsylvania.

ODOT 2The woman suffered a shattered skull and has had seven major surgical procedures since the incident occurred.

Four teenagers were later arrested in connection with the attack and are now serving prison time.

The new ODOT rule, which took effect on Jan. 1, applies only to new construction. Fencing will be applied to existing bridges or those already under construction on a case-by-case basis.

ODOT spokesman Matt Bruning said 167 bridges and overpasses will receive fencing over the next five years.

He said that approximately 921 of Ohio’s 3,780 grade-separated bridges over traffic routes already have fences.

Bruning said that exceptions to the rule would include county or township roads, bridges over waterways and some railroad bridges.

Officials say it would be cost prohibitive to install fences on all existing bridges.

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