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Community concerned about the age and condition of neighborhood bridge

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 7:17 PM EDT
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Residents in Cudel and Detroit Shoreway communities voice concern over old bridge
Residents in Cudel and Detroit Shoreway communities voice concern over old bridge(West 87th and Lake Avenue)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -

“Every time it rains more pieces fall.”

Nikki Hudson belongs to a group called Friends of Lake Avenue Bridge.

They have been waging a community vs the Goliath war against Norfolk Southern Railroads.

She said they pleaded with the rail company to repair the old bridge.

“For the past three years, our group has advocating for the railroad to make repairs to the bridge so that it’s safe for pedestrians or anybody who’s passing beneath it and also so that it’s not such an eyesore in the neighborhood.”

Safety and aesthetics, the two main concerns people living in the Cudel and Detroit Shoreway communities when it comes to this 109-year-old bridge.

It doesn’t look good.

It is definitely showing its age.

Hudson said every winter when it freezes and thaws the bridge literally crumbles as trains pass over it.

Another resident in the area is as concerned as Hudson.

“I live on West 89th around the corner from the bridge. Tell me about the bridge, your concerns? Oh gosh, the bridge is dilapidated and deteriorating and there’s chunks of cement and chunks of metal falling falling down. So, it’s really unsafe for pedestrians, for cars and animals like my dog.”

Norfolk Southern, who owns the bridge, sent 19 News this statement:

“Norfolk Southern’s engineering team will examine the bridge in Cleveland, Ohio, and remove any loose material that has the possibility of falling. Our team will continue to monitor and inspect the bridge regularly to ensure it remains safe for the public and rail operations.”

In many cases, the deterioration of material is cosmetic only and does not affect the structural capacity or safety of the bridge. People from Norfolk Southern did come out on Wednesday to inspect the structure. They picked up and swept up the debris that had fallen. The Friends of the Lake Avenue Bridge is set to discuss the latest with the bridge at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

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