I-Team: Will you get stuck with $3-million bill for bridge repairs?

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CLEVELAND-The FOX 8 I-Team is investigating whether taxpayers like you will end up paying millions because a truck destroyed a bridge over one of the area’s busiest highways. Why hasn’t that trucking company paid?

A FOX 8 viewer turned to the I-Team about a pedestrian bridge over I-90 near East 185th. In 2013, a truck with its trailer raised plowed into the bridge. The Ohio Department of Transportation recently rebuilt it.

We found the state spent more than $3 million in taxpayer money on the new bridge and more money to demolish the old one.

We went to ODOT to find out why the trucking company didn’t pay.

ODOT says it will soon be sending bills to the insurance company for the trucking firm trying to get the tax money paid back. ODOT says it always does the work first and then sends the bills.

But what if the insurance company won’t pay up?

Spokesperson Amanda McFarland said, “There’s likely to be a back and forth between ODOT and the insurance companies. And that’s where our folks in finance and our legal office would get involved and try to work with them and come up with a reasonable compromise, if need be.”

Take a walk up on the bridge, and you see, you can’t drive on it. Actually, the bridge is now part of a bike path. That bike path is still being developed to connect the Lakefront with a nearby park.

Steve Legerski drives by there every day, and he said, “I’ve never seen anybody on that bridge. Never.” He says he’ll be watching to see if ODOT recovers the costs. He added, “You know, I just want to make sure that we the people didn’t rebuild that.”

The trucking company had no comment for the I-Team.

ODOT says it has no firm timetable for getting back the money, although again, the process of trying is beginning.

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