**Watch our previous report on the new Valley View Bridge in the video above.**
According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, construction on the bridge began two years ago and ODOT has now hit a major milestone: a third span has joined the original twin bridges and is open to traffic.
The new bridge was built after annual inspections of the existing bridges revealed the driving surfaces of the bridges were reaching the end of their useful lives after more than 40 years.
On Saturday, I-480 eastbound traffic was shifted onto the new bridge. This allows for necessary repairs to be made on the original eastbound bridge.
ODOT says the same transfer of traffic will take place when work on the westbound bridge begins.
The transfer of traffic will allow for drivers to maintain four lanes of traffic in each direction throughout the construction process.
“Initial calculations showed back-ups for miles in each direction if we reduced the number of lanes open to traffic,” ODOT District 12 Deputy Director John Picuri said in a press release. “Considering the scale of the project and potential impacts to the traffic patterns in the region, the construction of a new bridge was determined to be the best solution.”
“This bridge is a major accomplishment and a valuable asset to the region,” added Governor Mike DeWine. “During peak travel times, these bridges carry 180,000 vehicles a day making it the busiest bridge in Ohio.”
ODOT says there is still significant work to be done to make the necessary repairs and replace the driving surfaces on the existing twin bridges.
Work on the eastbound bridge is expected to be completed in fall 2021. Work on the westbound bridge will then follow.
All three bridges are expected to be open to traffic in fall 2023.