After years of planning and construction, the westbound portion of the new Innerbelt Bridge carrying I-90 over the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland is completed. ideastream’s Nick Castele reports.
The Ohio Department of Transportation and Cleveland officials have been talking about replacing the aging I-90 bridges for at least 13 years. The project went through a few renditions, with sometimes contentious debate between state and local officials over design. Earlier plans to include bike lanes were later scrapped.
The completed bridges are being named after former Sen. George Voinovich, who joked at the ribbon-cutting about the lengthy timeline.
“I ought to tell you though that Janet and I wondered if the bridge would get done during our lifetime," he said. "So we tried to get a little money out of Washington."
The money from Washington came in 2009, in the form of nearly $80 million in stimulus funds from the Obama Administration.
Voinovich was sure to thank former Gov. Ted Strickland for securing that money -- and also thanked the Kasich administration, represented at the ribbon cutting by Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.
This winter, the state transportation department plans to demolish the old eastbound bridge and begin work on its replacement. The two spans together will cost $566 million – all of it covered by state and federal funding, according to ODOT.