Why does the brand new Innerbelt Bridge look like it's under repair already?

Some portions of the Innerbelt Bridge still have been painted as a part of original construction. (Source: WOIO)
Some portions of the Innerbelt Bridge still have been painted as a part of original construction. (Source: WOIO)

DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - If you've seen the westbound span of the Innerbelt Bridge you can't help but notice it looks like the bridge is under repair wrapped up with tarps like a winter blanket.

The Innerbelt was fully opened to traffic in September of 2016 at a total price tag of $560 million, which includes both east- and westbound spans.

That half-a-billion dollar mark makes it the largest highway construction project in Ohio history.

So why now, 13 months later, is there more work being done on the bridge?

According to Amanda McFarland, Public Information Officer for ODOT District 12, some portions of the newest section of the bridge needs to be repainted.

"There were some corrections that needed to be made to areas that were painted in the shop, which is being addressed," McFarland said. "ODOT has specifications that must be met for painting, so any areas that don't meet must be repainted."

The cost of the repainting is not being paid for by the Ohio Department of Transportation or taxpayers.

It's not just the repainting being done.

ODOT is still trying to paint the entire span as a part of the total project.

"They have been painting all year at various locations on the bridge. For example, in June Abbey Ave. closed under the bridge for painting. It is a very, very large bridge, so the painting does take quite a while," McFarland said.

ODOT used the fall to put an unsightly wrap on the bridge that will contain any overspray when painting starts.

The next problem is it won't start any time soon.

"We've reached the end of painting season due to the colder temperatures we are seeing, so the contractor is wrapping up for the year and will return in the spring to finish," according to McFarland.

So for now it's a $560 million dollar bridge project that began almost 14 years ago, and is still not done.

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