Bridgeport Road Slip Creates Safety, Property Value Concerns

Photo by Dylan McKenzie Bridgeport residents are frustrated from what some interpret as a slow response from village officials regarding damage to Ohio Street after a road slip.

A slip on the side of Ohio Street has several residents of the Bridgeport area concerned.

The slip began several months ago, leaving a large depression on the side of the road that has been surrounded by orange construction barrels. Large cracks are visible in the asphalt, showing signs of where it previously had been patched by crews. The slip is located beside a steep hill, and residents are worried about the potential long-term effects of the damage on their properties if it gets any worse.

“If this thing goes, my property values go from good to nothing,” resident Norm Thompson said.

Thompson lives across the street from the slip and said every time he has spoken to village officials about the problem, the response has seemed “nonchalant.” Thompson said he has lived in his house his entire life and has nowhere to move to if the damage gets to the point where he would have to sell his home. He and other area residents would like the problem to be addressed and to have their voices heard.

“It seems like nobody is paying attention to us now,” he said. “Nobody wants to hear about it.”

Mayor David Smith said the village is aware of the slip, which occurred as a result of heavy rain between Feb. 14 and 25. Smith said the village is looking for aid to repair the damage and has worked with the Belmont County Emergency Management Agency to submit a request for aid to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Smith said officials had an initial meeting with FEMA in March, and they are still waiting to hear back from the agency. Smith said he estimates the cost to repair the damage at about $125,000. Village leaders hope to get monetary aid in fixing the problem.

“If we can get federal funding, it will come in at 75 percent and we’ll have to fill in the remaining 25 percent,” Smith said.