ODOT: Skyway bridge on schedule for spring openingWritten by Justin R. Kalmes | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ohio Department of Transportation’s largest project ever is on schedule and on budget, an ODOT representative said this week.
Andrea Voogd, public information officer for ODOT’s District 2 office, said barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Veterans’ Glass City Skyway bridge should open to traffic in spring.
Construction crews are working on
the bridge’s main span across the Maumee River. Once that is completed, Voogd said, ODOT will be able to open the bridge to traffic.
“We’re in the final stretch,” she said. “This is the exciting part right now.”
Once completed, the bridge will consist of six lanes of traffic extending from Manhattan Boulevard on the north end of I-280 to Navarre Avenue on the south end. It will have a minimum clearance of 120 feet above the Maumee River channel, Voogd said, which will allow ships to pass under the interstate without stopping traffic. The new structure will replace the Craig Memorial Bridge, which uses a lift system to open for ship traffic.
“That’s really the main point of the [new] bridge,” she said. “Ships have the right of way; they don’t have to wait.”
Gov. Bob Taft broke ground on the $220 million project in May 2001. The bridge was originally expected to be completed by summer 2005, but was set back in February 2004 when four construction workers died after a 2-million-pound crane collapsed at the southern end of the structure. That incident delayed work eight months. A second truss crane fell in October 2004, but no one was injured in the incident.
Voogd said the bridge should be ready for traffic shortly after its north and south sections are connected. The project’s contractor has to pay liquidated damages, she said, if deadlines are not met.
According to ODOT’s Web site, northbound and southbound I-280 will remain closed to traffic between Summit Street and Greenbelt Parkway through Nov. 22. The ramp from Front Street to southbound I-280 will open sometime in mid-September. Westbound Front Street at the I-280 interchange was expected to reopen Aug. 21.