Chapter 5591: COUNTY BRIDGES

5591.01 Definition of joint bridge.

"Joint bridge" as used in sections 5591.01 to 5591.17 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, means a bridge constructed, used, or maintained or to be constructed, used, or maintained for general highway traffic above, below, or at the grade of any bridge constructed or to be constructed by any railroad or union depot company, and in connection therewith.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.01

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.02 Commissioners must build certain bridges.

The board of county commissioners shall construct and keep in repair all necessary bridges in municipal corporations on all county roads and improved roads that are of general and public utility, running into or through the municipal corporations, and that are not on state highways.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.02

Effective Date: 07-01-1989; 2007 HB67 07-03-2007

5591.03 Joint county and railroad bridges.

When the board of county commissioners is of the opinion that the welfare and convenience of the public will be served by the use of a bridge designed to carry the tracks of a railroad company, a union depot company, or any of said companies, and general highway traffic, the board may contract with such companies for the joint construction, use, and maintenance of such a bridge with provision for general highway traffic, in conjunction with and as a part of such railroad bridge, either at, above, or below the grade or elevation at which said railroad tracks are constructed.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.03

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.04 Contract for construction.

The bridge construction contract provided for by section 5591.03 of the Revised Code shall provide for the construction, use, and maintenance of that part of the joint bridge intended or to be used for general highway traffic and for sufficient pier supports to carry that part of such bridge used or intended to be used for general highway traffic, and shall be executed by the board of county commissioners, on behalf of any county, pursuant to authorization contained in the resolution determining to proceed with said joint bridge construction provided in section 5591.09 of the Revised Code, and by the president and secretary of any railroad or union depot company, on behalf of such company, pursuant to authorization of its board of directors.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.04

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.05 Board may establish new highway and change existing grades.

Whenever, in the opinion of the board of county commissioners, it is for the best interests, security, and convenience of the public in carrying out any contract for the construction, use, and maintenance of a joint bridge, such board may establish new highways and widen, change the location of, alter, straighten, narrow, change the grade of, or vacate a part or all of any public highway established or to be established under previous contract.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.05

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.06 Appropriation of property - approaches - damages - vacation of highways.

The board of county commissioners may in the making of a contract for the construction, use, and maintenance of a joint bridge, provide for approaches to such bridge for general highway traffic, over or from any other public highway adjacent to such joint bridge, and may acquire lands or property for such bridge and approaches by dedication, purchase, or appropriation in the manner provided for the dedication, purchase, or appropriation of private property for public use, and may pay the cost of construction, maintenance, and use of the bridge or of the establishment, change of location, widening, altering, narrowing, straightening, or vacation of a part or all of any public highway made necessary on account of the construction, use, and maintenance of such bridge, or to enjoy a more complete use of the same, and any damage resulting therefrom to persons or property, together with the cost of constructing said highway at its established, dedicated, changed, altered, or widened location, together with any other cost or expense necessary or incident to the carrying out of the terms of the contract.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.06

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.07 Resolution to modify or alter bridge - exhibits.

In the event it is necessary in the construction, use, or maintenance of a joint bridge to establish, alter, narrow, change the grade, or vacate a part or all of any public highway, the board of county commissioners of a county may, by resolution, declare such necessity and its intention to make such highway modifications or alterations, and provide in the resolution the manner in which the alterations or changes are to be made, the approximate cost so far as the county is concerned, the land or other property it is necessary to appropriate, how the cost of such alterations or changes is to be apportioned between the county and railroad or union depot company, and by whom the work of construction is to be done.

Prior to the passage of the resolution declaring such necessity there shall be filed with the board exhibits showing the location, elevation, and width of any highway to be established, altered, narrowed, vacated in whole or part, or grade thereof as changed, and a general plan of the joint bridge showing that portion to be used for general highway traffic, the supports, and any approaches to the bridge, together with such other information as may be required under the contract.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.07

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.08 Notice to be served on property owners.

Notice of the passage of the resolution provided for in section 5591.07 of the Revised Code shall be served upon the owners of property abutting upon that part of any highway to be altered, relocated, narrowed, or vacated in whole or part, or any change of grade thereof, in the manner provided as to resolutions declaring the necessity for a street improvement of a municipal corporation.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.08

Effective Date: 01-01-1966

5591.09 Resolution to determine to proceed.

After the passage of the resolution provided for by section 5591.07 of the Revised Code the board of county commissioners shall determine whether or not it will proceed with the proposed improvement. If it is desired to proceed a resolution by the board shall be passed which must contain, in addition to the terms stated in the resolution, a determination to proceed with the construction of a joint bridge.

At the time of passing the resolution, the proposed contract between the county and the railroad or union depot company, for the construction, use, and maintenance of the joint bridge, together with the plans and specifications showing its location, elevation, and approaches, with such other information as may be required under said contract, shall be prepared and on file with the board. The plans, specifications, and contract shall be approved and the execution of the contract by the officers of such county shall be authorized by the resolution determining to proceed. Such resolution shall also contain a statement of the damages claimed or likely to accrue by reason of the construction of a joint bridge and state who shall supervise the work of construction.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.09

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.10 Contents of resolution.

The resolution provided for by section 5591.09 of the Revised Code shall contain a general description of the land or property required by the county for approaches to the bridge, for making alternations in any highway shown on the plan or required by the specifications or contract, or necessary to be purchased or appropriated by the county, and any land required for establishing, altering, widening, or changing the location or grade of any highway, or slope rights for any highway or approaches, required by the terms of said contract.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.10

Effective Date: 01-01-1966

5591.11 Dedication of highway.

After the resolution provided for by section 5591.09 of the Revised Code has gone into effect and the county and railroad or union depot company have executed the contract approved by the resolution providing for construction, use, and maintenance of a joint bridge, the company shall dedicate for public use a highway of such width and at such elevation as is fixed and determined in the contract. Dedication shall be by plat prepared, signed, acknowledged, and recorded in the same manner and form as that prescribed for the dedication of other public highways, and the board of county commissioners of any county may accept such dedication.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.11

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.12 Proceedings to be the same as in other county roads.

In the establishment or making of any change in the location of any highway as shown on the plan or required by the construction contract, or any relocation or vacation of the whole or any part of such highway by the board of county commissioners, the same proceeding shall be had by it as is provided for the establishment, change of location, relocation, widening, vacation, or establishing or reestablishing a grade for a highway as in the case of county roads within the jurisdiction of such board.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.12

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.13 Lands to be purchased or appropriated.

The land or property required to make the alternation in a street or highway necessitated by a proposed improvement as provided in sections 5591.03 to 5591.17 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, and as shown in the plan, specifications, and contract, or required to make any alternation in the railroad necessitated by the proposed improvement shall be purchased or appropriated by the county or the railroad in the manner as provided in sections 163.01 to 163.22 , inclusive, of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.13

Effective Date: 02-21-1967

5591.14 County may issue bonds.

For the purpose of raising money to pay its proportion of the cost of the improvement authorized by section 5591.03 of the Revised Code, as fixed or provided in the construction contract, the county may issue its bonds to the necessary amount, under the provisions and limitations of the law with respect to the submission to the voters of the county of the question of issuing bonds for the construction of county bridges, which bonds shall be of such denomination and payable at such places and times as the board of county commissioners determines, and shall bear interest not exceeding the rate provided in section 9.95 of the Revised Code, but not be sold for less than their par value. A tax on the taxable property of the county, not exceeding one-half mill in each year, may be levied to pay the principal and interest of such bonds as they mature, or such cost may be paid from the proceeds of any bond issue authorized for the building of a bridge having the same or approximately the same termini, or connecting the same county roads as those provided in the contract for such joint bridge as provided by section 5591.03 of the Revised Code.

After the improvement is completed, a tax may be levied by the county to pay the cost of maintaining the keeping in repair that part of the joint bridge required to be maintained and kept in repair by the county.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.14

Effective Date: 05-13-1981

5591.15 Publication in newspaper.

All resolutions and notices provided for in sections 5591.03 to 5591.17 of the Revised Code shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the improvement provided in such sections is to be made, and such publication shall be complete when published once a week, on the same day of the week, for two consecutive weeks or as provided in section 7.16 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.15

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 10-07-1977

5591.16 Majority action of commissioners required.

All resolutions required in sections 5591.03 to 5591.17 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, to be adopted by a county, or to carry out a contract, shall be adopted by a majority of all members elected or appointed to the board of county commissioners.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.16

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.17 Rights and title.

Sections 5591-03 to 5591.17, inclusive, of the Revised Code do not authorize a county in the passage of any resolution, approval of any plans or specifications, execution of any contract, or the acceptance of any dedication on account of the construction, use, or maintenance of any joint bridge, to acquire any other right, title, or interest in or to the lands or rights of any railroad or union depot company other than those which are expressly granted in such contract, and shown upon the dedication plat.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.17

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.21 Bridges - bonds - land acquisition.

Except as provided in section 5501.49 of the Revised Code, the board of county commissioners shall construct and keep in repair necessary bridges over streams and public canals on or connecting state, county, and improved roads.

The board may submit to the electors the question of issuing county bonds for the construction of bridges on proposed state or county roads or connecting state or county roads, one or more of which may be proposed, but such bonds shall not be issued or sold until the proposed roads are actually established.

When the board determines it unnecessary in the construction of any bridge and the approaches thereto to acquire the entire land upon and over which the same shall be located, it may acquire such part of the land and easements and rights in the remainder thereof as are necessary and sufficient for such construction.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.21

Effective Date: 07-01-1989

5591.22 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 5591.22

Effective Date: 03-22-1973

5591.23 Approaches to bridges.

Except as provided in section 5591.21 of the Revised Code, the board of county commissioners shall construct and keep in repair, approaches or ways to all bridges named in such section. When the cost of the construction or repair of the approaches or ways to any such bridge does not exceed fifty dollars, such construction or repair shall be performed by the board of township trustees.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.23

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.24 Construction of approaches to county bridges.

The board of county commissioners shall construct, without unnecessary delay, good and sufficient approaches or ways to bridges erected by it. The board shall contract for such construction in the same manner as for contracting for the construction of such bridges.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.24

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.25 Board of county commissioners of one or more counties may build bridges.

When it becomes necessary for the public convenience to bridge a stream of water which is on or near the lines of two or more counties, which are traversed by, or lie on or near the road on which such bridge is needed, the board of county commissioners of such interested counties may build or authorize the building of such bridge jointly, to be paid for, with the approaches thereto, in such proportion as the boards agree upon. The expense of keeping such bridge in repair shall be paid by the counties interested, in the same proportion as the expense of building such bridge was paid.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.25

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.26 Suits for injuries to bridges, roads, and buildings - action by property owners - disposition of money recovered.

If a bridge, any state or county road, or any public building, the property of or under the control or supervision of a county, is injured or destroyed, or when any state or county road or public highway has been injured or impaired by placing or continuing therein, without authority, any obstruction, or by the changing of the line, filling up or digging out of the bed thereof, or in any manner rendering it less convenient or useful than it had been previously, by a person or corporation, such person or corporation shall be subject to an action for damages. The board of county commissioners of the proper county may sue for and recover of such person or corporation the damages which have accrued by reason thereof, or such as are necessary to remove the obstruction or repair the injury.

If the board fails or refuses to bring such action for ten days after being petitioned to do so by at least ten owners of property adjoining such county road or living within one mile of such bridge or public building, any one or more of such owners of property may bring suit, in the name of the prosecuting attorney of the county in which the property is situated, the recover the damages which have accrued, or which are necessary to remove the obstruction or repair the injury.

The money so recovered shall be paid into the treasury of the property county and appropriated by the board thereof in repairing such bridges, building, or road, or removing such obstruction, or to reimburse the county for such expenditures. In case of a recovery, the court may make such order as is deemed necessary to repair the injury or remove the obstruction complained of. The statute of limitations shall not operate in favor of a person or corporation committing any act, injury, or obstruction concerning any such road or public highway.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.26

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.27 Bridge to replace one destroyed.

In rebuilding a bridge destroyed or injured by flood or fire, the board of county commissioners may select a new site therefor. Before the change is made, or a contract for that purpose is entered into, the board shall give at least twenty days' notice to the time when the question of change will be considered, and at such hearing, all persons interested may present their views and wishes to the board, either by petition, remonstrance, or orally.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.27

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.31, 5591.32 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 5591.31, 5591.32

Effective Date: 07-01-1989

5591.33 Bridges over millraces.

No person possessed of the right to a water privilege shall be required to erect or keep in repair a bridge over a millrace or watercourse, excavated or constructed by him across a public road or highway for hydraulic purposes.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.33

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.34 Purchase and appropriation of materials.

The board of county commissioners may contract for and purchase stone, gravel, earth, dirt, or other material necessary for the construction or keeping in repair of approaches or ways to bridges as required by section 5591.24 of the Revised Code. The cost of constructing such approaches and procuring such material shall be paid from the bridge fund of the county on the order of the board.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.34

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.35 Lighting of bridges - highway intersections.

The board of county commissioners may provide for the proper lighting of bridges over streams, highway intersections, highway or railroad grade separations or interchange areas erected by it. The cost of such lighting shall be paid from the bridge fund of the county, or from any funds available for highway construction or maintenance and repair, on the order of the board. This section does not apply where the board has constructed three or more bridges within the limits of a municipal corporation. In such case the municipal corporation shall light the bridges within its limits at its own expense.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.35

Effective Date: 08-18-1955

5591.36 Guardrails for bridge or steep embankment.

The board of county commissioners shall erect and maintain on county roads, where not already done, one or more guardrails on each end of a county bridge, viaduct, or culvert more than five feet high. The board also shall protect, by guardrails, all embankments with a rise of more than eight feet in height and with a downward slope of greater than seventy degrees, where the embankments have an immediate connection with a county road.

The expense for a guardrail required under this section shall be paid out of the county bridge fund.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.36

Effective Date: 04-09-2003

5591.37 Noncompliance.

Negligent failure to comply with section 5591.36 of the Revised Code shall render the county liable for all accidents or damages resulting from that failure.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.37

Effective Date: 04-09-2003

5591.38 Board of county commissioners may purchase toll bridge.

The board of county commissioners of a county in which there is a toll bridge, or a bridge owned by a person or corporation authorized by law to charge and collect toll for crossing it, may purchase such bridge, with the approaches, at a price agreed upon by the board and the owners of the bridge. If such board is unable to agree with the owners upon such purchase and sale the board may appropriate the bridge.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.38

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.39 Appropriation of bridge - toll to cease.

For the purpose of appropriating a bridge as authorized by section 5591.38 of the Revised Code, the board of county commissioners shall have made an accurate survey and description of the bridge and approaches and the land occupied thereby, and shall proceed in accordance with sections 163.01 to 163.22 , inclusive, of the Revised Code. Upon payment of the agreed price, or payment into court of the compensation assessed, the right to charge or collect toll shall cease.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.39

Effective Date: 01-01-1966

5591.40 Right to bridge forfeited.

When the board of county commissioners appropriates a bridge, as provided in sections 5591.38 and 5591.39 of the Revised Code, and fails to pay for it within three months after the assessment of compensation, the right of the board to make such appropriation on the terms of the assessment so made shall cease and such bridge shall be relieved from all encumbrances on account of the proceedings in such case. The judgment or order of the court, directing such award or assessment to be paid, shall cease to be of effect, except as to the costs adjudged against the board.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.40

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.41 County may establish a free ferry.

If a county bridge has been destroyed by fire, flood, or any other cause, the board of county commissioners may cause to be established a free ferry in lieu thereof. The board may also cause to be established a free ferry over any of the interior stream of the state where it is not expedient to build a bridge, and may cause it to be maintained and operated. The cost of maintaining and operating such ferry shall not exceed the interest on the probable cost of constructing a bridge across the stream.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.41

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.42 Carrying capacity of bridges - warning notice.

The board of county commissioners together with the county engineer or an engineer to be selected by the board, or the director of transportation, may ascertain the safe carrying capacity of the bridges on roads or highways under their jurisdiction. Where the safe carrying capacity of any such bridge is ascertained and found to be less than the load limit prescribed by sections 5577.01 to 5577.12 of the Revised Code, warning notice shall be conspicuously posted near each end of the bridge. The notice shall caution all persons against driving on the bridge a loaded conveyance of greater weight than the bridge's carrying capacity.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.42

Effective Date: 11-02-1989

5591.43 Arrest of certain persons on view.

A constable of a township, a marshal of a village, or a police officer of a city may arrest upon view, and without process, a person violating section 5591.42 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.43

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5591.44 Prosecutions.

Prosecution under sections 5591.42 and 5591.43 of the Revised Code shall be in the name of the state and be commenced within three months after the offense is committed. Sections 5591.33 to 5591.43 of the Revised Code do not take away from the board of county commissioners a right of action for damages, which it may have against a person for injury done to a bridge.

Cite as R.C. § 5591.44

Effective Date: 07-01-1989

5591.99 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 5591.99

Effective Date: 05-31-1988