Corrosion under fire coating on main beams caused the closure of the Memphis Avenue Bridge

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 5:30 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Cuyahoga County Department of Public Works is responsible for the inspection and maintenance of just about 100 bridges countywide and inspectors on-site at the Memphis Avenue Bridge project found sufficient reason to shut down the one lane of the bridge that the county had hoped to keep open during the construction project.

The bridge is 3 spans and contractors during work to demolish the southernmost span noticed a potential issue with the beams in the center span and the county sent in inspectors to check the beams that had been coated with fire protection.

“What they found was those beams, even though there was no indication from the outside, there was no swelling, cracking, rust, anything like that, once we took that material off there was some serious rust and corrosion going on with those beams,” said Tom Sotak, an engineer and the Director of Cuyahoga County Public Works.

Sotak said the section loss was at a point where there was no longer an option left to keep the bridge open even to one lane of traffic and the decision was made to shut it down.

“Obviously we try to keep these bridges open because it is not only convenient for the motoring public and the businesses but also emergency vehicles so we take this very seriously,” Sotak said.

USF Holland Trucking who would use Memphis Avenue to Tiedeman Road for quick access to 480 will obviously be affected.

Memphis Kiddie Park will open as scheduled on May 21st as the city of Brooklyn and Cuyahoga County have agreed to move the road closure barriers back towards the bridge, from the intersection of Memphis and Tiedeman to allow access to the Park’s, parking lot.

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