power dam road photo

The above site just east of the Power Dam in Defiance County has been cleared in recent days by county highway crews in preparation for a future project further south on Power Dam Road. Shredded tires will be stored on the site until they are transported to an area on Power Dam Road, south of Bowman Road, for construction of a retention wall. The wall will support the raising of Power Dam Road to eliminate the possibility of flooding. The project is expected to be completed during the upcoming construction season.

A bunch of old tires that are no longer holding up vehicles are expected to be supporting a section of Defiance County’s Power Dam Road later this year.

A $150,000 Ohio EPA grant received by Defiance County Engineer Warren Schlatter’s office will be used this year to build a retaining wall of shredded tires along Power Dam Road, south of Bowman Road. The ground up tires will support a buildup of Power Dam Road to ensure that flood waters can’t reach the road.

The county will provide a $150,000 match for the project.

The road will be raised about five feet, and the new pavement will be about 1,000 feet in length, according to Schlatter.

He said flooding on Power Dam Road is not a frequent problem, and he’s only seen it that high once in his professional career with Defiance County, which dates back to 1995. But this is a chance to eliminate the potential problem, he noted.

“If it’s not an everyday problem, it’s a problem we’d like to fix,” said Schlatter. “This funding opportunity was a way I could fix that problem at a reasonable cost.”

Schlatter expects the project — which will require building up the road with soil before the tire wall is built — will be put out for bid in late April with construction this spring or summer. About two months will be needed for construction, which will temporarily close the road.

Some 100,000 tires — equating to about 1,000 tons — will be used, according to Schlatter.

The tires will be supplied by the closed Henry County landfill south of Napoleon at no charge. That facility serves as nothing more than a transfer station now, but it has a tire shredder, he explained, and charged Defiance County 10 cents a pound to shred its tires. (Shredded tires to be supplied by Henry County also will have come originally from other counties.)

In preparation for the project, county highway crews have been clearing trees along Power Dam Road, just east of the Power Dam on the Auglaize River’s south bank. This will be used as a temporary storage area for the tire shreds before they are taken about a mile or so down the road to the job site.

According to Schlatter, the long-term plan is to raise the area around the storage site near the Power Dam about five feet and build a retaining wall with shredded tries there as well. That may happen at a couple more vulnerable spots on Power Dam Road depending upon grant funds and the viability of the shredded tires, he indicated.

The attractiveness of the project for EPA, Schlatter added, is “demonstrating the viability of a non-landfill application for tires.”

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