CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Work is almost done on a pedestrian bridge over I-90 on Cleveland's east side, a span built to replace one taken down when a passing truck with its bed in the air struck it in 2013. But Cleveland Councilman Michael Polensek has a concern, one he said he spotted immediately saying. "As soon as I looked at it, I said what is that? Who came up with that scheme?"
What Councilman Polensek is talking about are stones used to dress up the bridge base. The stones are fist-sized and he fears they could be thrown off the bridge and into traffic. He wants ODOT to do something. Polensek said, "They've gotta figure out how to grout 'em in, secure them in, because if not, all it takes is one individual who has bad intentions who wants to pitch it off a bridge."
Polensek brought up his concerns to ODOT; so far nothing has happened. ODOT told Cleveland 19 reporter Paul Orlousky that the stones will be grouted in place with concrete, satisfying one of Polensek's concerns.
But there is another concern; the fence lining the overpass. Other pedestrian walkways nearby have canopy to protect from anything being tossed into traffic. The new bridge does not, per ODOT's policy. Again, Polensek is concerned. "Just to put up fencing on these bridges now with no containment I don't believe is wise. Unfortunately, they need to take a look at that and reconsider that policy."
The stones should be grouted into place in the next couple of weeks. The driver that struck the bridge was fined $300. His company's insurance paid the policy limit of $1 million. The new bridge construction cost is estimated at $3.5 million.