1 Year Later: Anniversary of Innerbelt Bridge demolition - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

1 Year Later: Anniversary of Innerbelt Bridge demolition

New Innerbelt bridge almost complete. (Source: WOIO) New Innerbelt bridge almost complete. (Source: WOIO)
Construction on second Innerbelt Bridge underway. (Source: WOIO) Construction on second Innerbelt Bridge underway. (Source: WOIO)
Bridges  named in honor of former Ohio Gov. George V. Voinovich. (Source: WOIO) Bridges named in honor of former Ohio Gov. George V. Voinovich. (Source: WOIO)
Work on 2nd Innerbelt Bridge underway. (Source: WOIO) Work on 2nd Innerbelt Bridge underway. (Source: WOIO)
Work on new bridge expected to be completed in 2016. (Source: WOIO) Work on new bridge expected to be completed in 2016. (Source: WOIO)

It is the largest bridge replacement project in ODOT history with a price tag of $500 million. The Innerbelt Bridge used to be just one bridge that ran through downtown Cleveland over the Cuyahoga River.

Because of its condition at 55-years-old the whole thing needed to be replaced.

One year ago Sunday, crews blew up the old bridge.

"A year ago on Sunday we were demolishing via explosives what was left of that old Innerbelt Bridge and today you can see behind me we've made so much progress," says ODOT spokesperson Jocelynn Clemings from underneath the new span.

ODOT is building two bridges to replace the old bridge, one to carry traffic in each direction.

Officials gave us a tour today to see the progress.

"Yes we are on schedule, we are where we planned to be. That's a good thing," says Clemings.

The most impressive part right now is what you don't see. Cement pillars rising up out of the ground are attached to pilings that have been hammered 200 feet into the ground. The bridge itself will only be about 100 feet tall.

"The pilings, the steel that's underground is the largest ever manufactured in the United States. And that kind of speaks to the geology of this areas. It's so silty and sandy that we had to come up with this kind of unique foundation structure," said Clemings.

At any given time, there can be 200 construction workers on the new span and that means jobs.

"When you take the complete replacement of that old Innerbelt Bridge with two new bridges into account you're looking at well over half a billion dollars,” says Clemings.

The bridge new bridge is named in honor of former Ohio Governor George V. Voinovich.

Copyright 2015 WOIO. All rights reserved. 

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