Old Innerbelt bridge makes way for new bridge - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Old Innerbelt bridge makes way for new bridge

Ironworkers are on the job high above the Cuyahoga River Valley. They'recutting steel supports apart on the old bridge, loosening up huge slabs ofconcrete so they can be pulled up and removed from the old bridge deck.

Whenyou include the massive concrete piers, holding in place the bridges steelstructure,  about thirty percent of the concrete has been removed from theold bridge.

"This bridge is so largethat amounts to about 40 million pounds of concrete and even though we'vedone so much work we've got a lot left to do," said ODOT spokeswoman Jocelynn Clemings.

Demolition workcontinues under the bridge on structures that are either in the way of thedemolition process or will be in the way when the second new bridge is built.

The steel structure will actually come down in a controlled explosion that isexpected to take place in June or July. 

ODOT has contracted withControlled Demolition, Inc. For that explosive but delicate work,  spansthat run over Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks, the Cuyahoga River and an areathat houses a massive utility duct will not be part of the controlled explosionand will be taken down piece by piece.

The new bridge will have to be closedfor an entire weekend when Controlled Demolition comes in to blow up the steelstructure.

"We are working very closely withall our downtown businesses to make sure we can find a weekend where we're notimpacting folks who may be traveling in and out of the city," Clemings said.

Work has been under way on theInnerbelt Bridge project for three years and will continue for about 2 1/2 more years until the second new bridge is complete.

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