‘Amazing process’: Innerbelt Bridge demolition under way

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CLEVELAND–It’s hard to believe the old Innerbelt Bridge will be coming down next month. That’s when ODOT plans to blow it up using explosives. Before that can happen, crews will first need to dismantle parts of the bridge.

They’re working in phases and have started removing pieces from over the Cuyahoga River.

“Bridges are spectacular. Each one is so different and so unique and it’s been an amazing process to watch them build it and to watch them dismantle it,” said Peggy Cleary of Fairview Park.

She watched as the new Innerbelt Bridge was being built, and now watches as the old one gets torn down.

She said it’s been quite the experience.

“Just watching this makes me realize how it’s not really that big of an inconvenience when they close the bridges down and some exits to build this, because it’s just an amazing process and it represents Cleveland at work,” she said.

In order to remove all the pieces, workers have to be suspended high in the air; something John Skokan of Willougby Hills said is wild to see.

“You have to have a lot of guts to be up there. I worked for the phone company for 40 years and I know hanging on a pole isn’t fun and that’s nothing compared to this,” he said.

While some pieces of the bridge are carried down using a crane, others are safely dropped into the water below and then taken away.

“It’s nice to see how they do it safely. That’s the main thing because it is a lot of heavy iron coming down a little piece at a time and they do it to keep everyone safe,” he said.

All of the materials that can be recycled from the bridge, will be.

ODOT hasn’t set a specific date for the bridge blow-up, but expect it will be sometime in mid-July.

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