Need a bridge? You could get this one over the Maumee River for just $100!

The Roche de Boeuf bridge over the Maumee River is being auctioned off.
The Roche de Boeuf bridge over the Maumee River is being auctioned off.(WTVG)
Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 5:01 PM EDT
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WATERVILLE, Ohio (WTVG) - On Wednesday the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will offer at public auction the Roche de Boeuf bridge across the Maumee River and accompanying property, located in Middleton Township and the city of Waterville.

A total of 5.627 acres in Wood and Lucas Counties, including the Roche de Boeuf bridge, will be auctioned at 10 a.m. on June 30 at the Maumee Rotary Pavilion at Side Cut Metropark, 1025 W. River Road, Maumee, OH 43537.

The property consists of a 66-foot wide strip of former interurban right-of-way extending from the intersection of State Route 65 and Forst Road in Wood County to the Anthony Wayne Trail, crossing over South River Road, in Lucas County.

The property, appraised at $100, is being sold as-is/where-is in its present condition. A Disclaimer and Acknowledgment of Conditions will be posted on the website prior to the auction and must be signed at the time of purchase.

“Our duty to the public is not being met in two very significant ways with this bridge,” said Patrick McColley, Deputy Director for ODOT District 2. “ODOT’s mission is to safely move people and goods from place to place, and at one time, this bridge supported that mission. The bridge now, however, serves no purpose for transportation, and in its deteriorated state poses a risk to the public,” he said.

The purchaser assumes all responsibility and liability for maintenance, management, securing, repair, replacement, or removal of the bridge structure. ODOT will not retain any responsibilities or liabilities for or in connection with the bridge or associated property.

To have an accurate understanding of liability, potential buyers should consult an attorney. ODOT does not provide legal advice.

ODOT understands the community’s appreciation of this bridge, which is why ODOT is offering it to the public at auction. This is ODOT’s final attempt to sell the bridge with accompanying property, as stakeholders and entities have been offered the property but have not expressed an interest. If the property, including the bridge, does not sell, ODOT will be moving forward with a removal project.

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History of the Roche de Boeuf interurban bridge:

1907 – Land bought by the Cincinnati & Lake Erie Railroad Company (formerly Lima and Toledo Traction Company).

1908  Interurban bridge constructed and used as an electric interurban trolley line.

1937 – Tracks removed and bridge abandoned.

1941 – Waterville bridge (Mechanic Street) collapses and the interurban bridge was used as a temporary automobile crossing due to shortage of steel during World War II.

1943  State of Ohio purchased the interurban bridge.

1946 – Traffic returned to the Waterville bridge (Mechanic Street) with new truss.

1972 – Interurban bridge listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1974 – Roche de Boeuf Bridge Historical Society made an unsuccessful effort to preserve the bridge.

1983 – ODOT deemed the bridge unsafe for equipment traffic. The structure is no longer considered a bridge because it does not carry traffic and is not over vehicular traffic. It does not get a structure file number or yearly inspections like all other bridges owned by public agencies.

October 2017 – ODOT receives letter describing safety concerns for watercrafts.

January 2018 - August 2019 – ODOT, on behalf of the State of Ohio, initiates a project to improve safety. Stakeholders and surrounding property owners notified of safety improvement project. Land and environmental surveys occurred, data was collected, and a feasibility study was developed to research alternatives by ODOT-hired consultants.

August 2019 - November 2019 – Alternatives analyzed from the feasibility study and project information presented and feedback requested from stakeholders and the public.

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