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

Old Innerbelt bridge makes way for new bridge

Iron workers are on the job high above the Cuyahoga River Valley. They're cutting steel supports apart on the old bridge, loosening up huge slabs of concrete so they can be pulled up and removed from the old bridge deck.

When you include the massive concrete piers, holding in place the bridges steel structure,  about thirty percent of the concrete has been removed from the old bridge.

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

Demolition work continues under the bridge on structures that are either in the way of the demolition 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 is expected to take place in June or July. 

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

The new bridge will have to be closed for an entire weekend when Controlled Demolition comes in to blow up the steel structure.

"We are working very closely with all our downtown businesses to make sure we can find a weekend where we're not impacting folks who may be traveling in and out of the city," Clemings said.

Work has been under way on the Innerbelt 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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