ODOT Topping Out ceremony; Innerbelt bridge is nearly complete

ODOT Topping Out ceremony; Innerbelt bridge is nearly complete

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A project years in the making is nearing completion.

One of the final pieces was ceremonially put into place on the second Innerbelt Bridge Monday.

The final large steel beam was raised by crane today over Abbey Avenue in Tremont. The topping out ceremony represents significant progress, on this, the largest bridge replacement project in the state's history.

At peak times of construction as many as 500 people were working on the bridge. For Local 17, the Iron Workers Union, this project translated to 50-60 jobs.

"I'm very proud of my union and my members that worked on this project," said Dan Beckett, a third generation iron worker.

"No major accidents on this projects, so we're proud of that," said Rich Jordan, Business Agent for Local 17.

Watching the progress unfold in front of their eyes, in their backyard...neighbors are glad to see the dust and the noise coming to a close.

"It's real hard for people that come down to visit us, because they always get lost. Their GPSs don't bring them here. It takes them some other way and they get lost. That part has been difficult," Christi Sisley.

"The biggest challenge is all of the things this bridge crosses. We cross active railroads, active roadways. We connect peoples homes and businesses. So keeping traffic moving and keeping commerce moving throughout the city of Cleveland is, of course, challenging when you're building a half billion dollar project," said ODOT Spokesperson, Jocelynn Clemmings.

The project is on time and under budget, and the second bridge is 90% complete. All that's left to finish is the driving surface. Clemmings says there's a lot of rebar that has to be placed, a lot of concrete that has to be poured. As soon as that's done the bridge is going to be ready to open, late summer or early fall.

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