VALLEY VIEW, Ohio-- The Interstate 480 Bridge in Valley View is the busiest bridge in the state of Ohio. Every day, 180,000 vehicles travel over it.
While drivers are going over the bridge they may not realize construction has already begun on a project that will take six years and cost more than $227M.
“The driving surfaces are more than 40 years old and they have kind of reached the end of their useful life so we are only replacing the bridge decks and the parapet walls,” said Amanda McFarland, ODOT District 12 spokesperson.
The project also includes raising the height of the fences for safety reasons and building a new four-lane bridge between the existing two bridges.
“If you look up and see there’s not much room to build another bridge in between so when we are said and done with this we’ll have a foot and a half between each bridge,” said Pete McHugh, the project engineer.
Right now construction crews are hammering in the pilings that will form the foundation and support for the new bridge. McHugh estimates there will be 500 of them put into the ground, each can hold 54,000 pounds.
“These pilings are driven down into bedrock here at this location about 50 feet below where the ground is now; in other locations the rock is as low as 300 feet,” McHugh said.
The pilings will take about a year to install and then construction will begin on the new middle bridge.
Drivers should prepare for major traffic pattern changes in spring 2019.
Once the new bridge is built it will help alleviate any additional traffic problems caused by crews closing each side of the bridge.
“They’ll start work on the eastbound bridge so all eastbound traffic will move to the new bridge and then once they finish the eastbound bridge they’ll put the traffic back on the bridge and do the same for the westbound side,” McFarland explained.
ODOT estimates major construction will be completed in the fall of 2022 and then painting of all three bridges will continue through summer 2024.