State seeks review of two pedestrian bridge plans

CLEVELAND (AP) - The state asked the Cleveland Metroparks to hire a consultant to review engineering plans for two 786-foot pedestrian bridges along the Ohio & Erie Canal towpath in nearby Valley View.
The regional park system has agreed to pay HNTB Corp. of Kansas City, Mo., $112,000 to check the bridge plans by Finkbeiner, Pettis and Strout of Akron.
The Ohio Department of Transportation, which looks at projects that use state and federal money, urged the review and cited concern for public safety.
Finkbeiner "has not designed or prepared plans for a
cable-stayed bridge, nor have they been through the construction of a cable-stayed structure," ODOT said in a letter to park commissioners.
A cable-stayed bridge is similar to a suspension span with
towers anchoring steel strands wrapped into a cable.
The park system wants to build the bridges so trail users can avoid crossing two busy streets. More than 163,000 people use the trail yearly.
Bob Hochevar, regional transportation manager for Finkbeiner, said his firm consulted with HNTB during the initial phase.
"We've done lots of bridges of varying complexity, but a
cable-stayed is complex," Hochevar said.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)