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Government & Politics

I-480 Bridge Repairs Starting Earlier Than Planned

Governor John Kasich
KEVIN NIEDERMIER
/
WKSU

An overhaul of Ohio’s busiest bridge is going to start two-years earlier than expected. A six year rehabilitation of the I-480 Bridge south of Cleveland will begin next year. The project has been designed to avoid major traffic headaches.

Every day, about 180-thousand cars cross the 40-year-old structure. Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jerry Wray says if the lanes were shut-down to do the work, it would cause 8-to-15 mile backups.He says they did some special planning to make the renovation project possible.

“We’ll build a new bridge between the two existing bridges. It’ll be four lanes, two in each direction. We’ll get that bridge built, connect it in, open it to traffic. Then we can close the eastbound lanes, replace that deck, then we can close the westbound lanes and replace that deck. When we’re done we’ll have eight lanes in each direction.”

The state is using short-term financing for the $281 million project. That combined with moving the project up two-years will save the state $18 million. The project will start earlier because maintaining the current bridge is too costly.