Innerbelt Bridge Commuters Adjust to Abbey Avenue Loop Closing

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Commuters are adjusting to a new route as the Abbey Avenue loop off the Innerbelt Bridge was closed on Monday.

The Ohio Department of Transportation closed the Abbey Avenue ramp on I-90 westbound shortly after reopening the West 14th Street exit in Tremont.  This is the latest step in the ongoing $287 million bridge reconstruction project.

According to ODOT, an estimated 138,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day and this closure will impact the drivers heading west, towards West 14th.

Drivers will still have access to Abbey Road by taking a detour behind the Greek Annunciation Church.  The detour is sending cars through Tremont, bypassing some worried business owners, like Bernie Sokolowski from Sokolowski's University Inn.  "I know they have to build the bridge," said Bernie, "[it's] gotta get done, so, closing off that Abbey Avenue exit gonna have to get done, then it has to get done.

"It's a necessary evil," said Dr. Bryan Forsgren from the Gateway Animal Clinic.  The facility was forced to move from a different location to make way for the new bridge.  "We needed a new bridge [and] people are finding us.  It's a little more complicated, but after a week or so everything will be fine, and we'll be just as busy as can be."

The changes are not temporary.  The closure will last until the new bridge opens with a new Abbey Avenue loop in 2013.  "I think Clevelanders are resilient, they will find a way to get to their places in Tremont that they want to," said Bernie Sokolowski.

For more information on the Innerbelt Bridge project, visit: www.innerbelt.org.

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