Months ago, we exposed the problem. Now, we’ve learned what an investigation revealed and what’s being done about it.
In short, highway drains have become clogged so much, even work crews are wondering how all of the debris managed to get down there in the pipes.
Monday, Drone FOX recorded a crew working along I-90 near the Cleveland-Bratenahl border, getting to the bottom of what’s causing flooding on the Shoreway.
In July, police video showed a wall of water splashing over the median, accidents everywhere and drivers left feeling helpless in the high water.
Now, day after day, you might see a private contractor hired by the Ohio Department of Transportation. Crews use heavy equipment in and around drains working from about East 72nd to about East 152nd.
Photos show what the workers have found clogging the drains: heavy pieces of tarp, plastic, concrete, metal and really, all kinds of debris.
One photo shows the back of a truck filled with dirt and debris that came out of one section of the pipes below the Shoreway.
“We’re finding blockages all over the place, and it’s really the whole area that we’re cleaning out,” ODOT spokesman Brent Kovacs said.
ODOT isn’t sure why that section of highway developed a problem so extreme, but it is getting fixed.
“They’re using high-pressure water to break up any debris that may be in the pipe. Then, using a shop-vac type device that’s extremely strong to suck it all up, the water, the rocks, anything like that.” Kovacs said.
Think of it like a sink in your home. Your sink may have a drain cover, but you still could get a clog near the top of the drain or deeper in the pipes.
Those highway crews are going 100 feet deep into those pipes and still finding stuff that shouldn’t be there.
“They’re working every day of the week. They can get out there to get it done,” Kovacs said.
The state is spending more than $600,000 on the clean-up. It should be finished by the end of November.
So many drivers are depending on it. ODOT says that stretch of highway gets used by about 125,000 drivers a day.