Construction on the first of two Innerbelt Bridges is on schedule. The bridge, critical to commuters and downtown business, is scheduled to open next fall, as originally planned.
Tuesday, the first truck carrying the largest structural steel pieces for the main portion of the bridge arrived. The truck carried two of eighty similar pieces that will make up the delta girders that will form the triangular shape of the base of the bridge.
The new bridge, when finished, will temporarily carry six lanes of traffic, three in each direction, and eventually five lanes westbound.
Demolition of the existing bridge will begin immediately after the new bridge is finished, but after that the construction of the second Innerbelt Bridge, which will eventually carry all five lanes of east bound traffic, remains a work in progress.
The second bridge was expected to be built immediately after demolition of the existing bridge, but funding issues pushed that back to 2023.
ODOT has since come up with the money to push construction up to 2016 with a completion date of 2019.
But ODOT officials told Reporter Brian Duffy that they are still pursuing ways to secure funding to get the start date of construction of the second bridge back to the original plan of late 2013 or early 2014.