CLEVELAND-- Just think how easy your morning commute will be getting into the city on the Innerbelt bridge with five lanes instead of current 4. It’ll be nice, it’s just going to take a few more years before the project is finished.
Construction crews are clamoring on cranes and strategically stacking steel trying to reach their goal of two new bridges by the end of 2016. So far, so good. The Ohio Department of Transportation said they’re on time and on budget. They’ve spent $290 million of their $600 million budget so far.
Amanda Lee, spokesperson for ODOT said the construction is going well so far.
“We’re still on schedule for opening this fall. In the Flats, we will have to close West 3rd Street as they make the connection between these piers as well as Canal. Expect additional ramp closures this summer as we establish new connections with new bridge.”
When the new bridge is finished this fall, traffic will flow east and west bound. That’s when the old bridge will be taken down piece by piece.
“Different than the previous innerbelt bridge, the two new ones will have design life of 75 years and equipped to change decking," said Tom Flask of the Innerbelt Bridge design team. "The Deck will be plowable for trucks.”
That means salt trucks can treat and plow the new bridges in the winter.
Before we get there, expect minimal delays during construction from the Tremont area on the lower west end all the way up to Ontario.
The biggest impact will be the 3rd Street closure and look for smaller, less invasive changes in the late summer.