Turnpike bridge repair work to start Sept. 5

by Bob Gaetjens | Editor Published:

The plans aren't finalized yet, but the turnpike bridge over Route 14 and Interstate 480 will likely be repaired beginning Sept. 5 at midnight.

From that time, crews will work 24 hours a day until shortly before the morning rush hour Sept. 8, according to Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission Bridge Engineer Chuck Cvitkovich.

He said he believes the entire project can be completed over the weekend.

"We won't know the exact plan until the contractors submit their bids," he said.

Bids are due Sept. 3 at 3 p.m.

The bridge was damaged Aug. 22 when a trash truck struck it with its trash bin arms extended, mangling a steel girder in the process.

If more time is needed, work can be done the following weekend, although some closures are permitted between midnight and 4 a.m. on weeknights for "prep work," said Cvitkovich.

Interstate 480 westbound during construction periods, he added. But those periods are restricted to weekends and possibly between midnight at 4 a.m. on a couple of weeknights.

Cvitkovich said traffic will likely be maintained on the bridge for traffic exiting and entering the turnpike, but some lanes will be closed and access will continue to be controlled by a traffic signal.

Mayor Glenn Broska said there have been backups on the eastbound side of I-480 on the turnpike entrance ramp between 3:30 and 6 p.m., but traffic in the morning has been relatively smooth.

"The other problem we're having is that people don't want to stay in that backup and are making U-turns and getting on the westbound ramp," he said.

Eastbound traffic on I-480 is passing under the turnpike bridge and making the U-turn at about the point where the wall between the eastbound and westbound lanes of I-480 disappears, he explained. From there, they have to cut across several lanes of traffic to make the exit ramp from I-480 westbound to the turnpike.

He said motorists have to slow down almost to a stop while traffic moving at freeway speeds coming up from behind them.

"I don't care if motorists go up to the light and pull into Walmart and turn around," he said.

Email: bgaetjens@recordpub.com

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