Last week was an exciting one for Cleveland: first, the GOP chose it to host its 2016 nominating convention, then LeBron James announced his return to the Cavs. What better way to top off the excitement than with…an exploding bridge? ideastream’s Brian Bull joined the crowds Saturday morning and has this report:
Hundreds of people gathered in the pre-dawn hours Saturday, to watch the I-90 Innerbelt Bridge go up in smoke.
At a minute past 6, state transportation engineers fired off a series of charges – 88 blasts in 440 milliseconds -- that created a lightning bolt of fire that zipped across five of the nine spans – and then…
Construction crews from ODOT were then sent to the depths of the Cuyahoga River Valley to remove and salvage debris. The remaining spans of the old bridge have been – or will be – disassembled with machinery, with complete demolition expected by the end of August. Crews plan to recycle nearly 20,000 tons of steel from the site.
The construction of a new bridge rolling south of downtown Cleveland is the next phase. Transportation department spokeswoman Jocelyn Clemmings explains.
“This second new bridge will essentially be a sister to the first bridge that’s in place now, so when all is said and done we’ll have one bridge in each direction, and that will provide us one additional lane in each direction, which will be very helpful to the folks who are trying to enter downtown Cleveland.”
The Innerbelt Bridge opened to traffic in summer 1959. It was the widest bridge in Ohio, then.
VIDEO: Watch the blast happen!