Swing Shift: Your tax dollars at rest - Swing Bridge workers - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Swing Shift: Your tax dollars at rest - Swing Bridge workers still on the job despite closure

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EXCLUSIVE: CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It is a stunning example of your tax dollars not at work, but at rest! The city of Cleveland paying workers to do nothing.

19 Action News uncovered some guys assigned to what you might call the "swing shift." And what a deal they're swinging. Four city workers whom, if nothing changes, will spend more than a year sitting, watching their workplace be rebuilt. And four others in almost the same situation.

The Center Street Swing Bridge is 109 years old has needed repair for a long time. In July, the work began. It is a project funded with federal stimulus dollars - $2.6 million of them. But 19 Action News found the government is funding a bridge over wasteful waters.

Sure the job is long overdue. Decking will be replaced, as well as electrical and mechanical systems. In the past, the bridge has frozen up in cold weather, temporary fixes were just that, temporary. The current work is the first major rebuild since 1989.

The problem is, that despite the fact that the bridge has been closed, the workers who man the bridge have been showing up. The bridge is stuck in the open position, so there's nothing for them to do. So they sit. 8 hour shift after 8 hour shift.

It's not the workers fault, but wouldn't you think someone at city hall, a supervisor perhaps, would have found something for them to do instead of hiding in an end shack with the blinds drawn and newspaper over the window?

Work on the Willow Bridge is going on while traffic is maintained on a single lane. What's troubling is that when work on Center Street is done the Columbus Road Bridge will close.

The West Third Street Bridge is closed for painting, four workers there are filling in at other bridges. So with two of the five bridges in the Flats closed that seems to add up to 8 full time city workers with nothing to do.

So what should these workers do with their time? 19 Action News wants your job suggestions - sound off below!

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