Bridge construction in Euclid impacting how fast crews can get to emergency

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EUCLID- Bridge construction in Euclid is now impacting how fast emergency crews can get to people in need.

The Euclid Fire Department says they learned the bridges are in such bad shape, they can’t drive over them.

When Euclid firefighters and paramedics respond to a 911 call, seconds count.

"I don't think any parent wants to hear that it's gonna take extra time, you know, because five seconds could seem like 10 minutes," said one potentially affected resident.

Euclid fire officials say Cuyahoga County informed them Thursday that the restoration of two bridges on Highland Road between Euclid Avenue and the entrance to the Euclid Creek Metroparks is now off limits to heavy vehicles.

"Worse shape than they originally thought and it sounds like there'd be a risk of a bridge collapse if we were to be travelling over that bridge and too much weight on it could cause it to collapse," said Euclid Assistant Fire Chief William Anderson.

The fire department says 23 streets south of the construction, uphill near the city's border with Richmond Heights would be affected. The assistant fire chief says their vehicles weigh between 15,000 and 80,000 pounds. Thursday night, an ambulance responded to a call on Katey Rose Lane, which usually takes six or seven minutes.

"We responded taking the detours that we advised our personnel to take and our records indicate it took them 18 minutes to respond," said Anderson.

"They should fix that, so they should do something, so in case of emergency, we want the help 911, right away," said another resident.

"It's a problem already when we're talking about getting police and fire trucks up here as it is because we're kind of secluded up here, so the fact that it's gonna take more time does not sound good," said another concerned resident.

Euclid's assistant fire chief says neighboring departments have offered to help.

"Specifically South Euclid, Richmond Heights and Highland Heights, they're working with us to provide resources when we have incidents up there in that area of the city," Anderson said.

Anderson says the construction could go on until Thanksgiving, but says he was told it may be finished by this summer.