The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Tuesday, 15 July 2014 10:40cat

Video: Cleveland Inner Belt Bridge Demolition

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The Inner Belt Bridge shortly before demolition on Saturday The Inner Belt Bridge shortly before demolition on Saturday newsnet5

Many Cleveland residents were woken early on Saturday morning by the noise from the Inner Belt Bridge demolition. Controlled explosives were used to demolish five of the nine steel spans of the bridge over the Cuyahoga River around 6 a.m. local time. The Ohio Department of Transportation closed all roads within a 1,000-foot radius during the demolition. They also set up a viewing area for the public to watch the demolition nearby.  A video showing the span collapsing in a matter of seconds can be found here.

The Inner Belt Bridge demolition began in January when crews began removing the bridge’s lights, railings, and concrete surface. These items were removed piece by piece using more traditional methods than the explosive demolition. Specific steel beams were also removed by workers over the last six months to aid in the demolition. The controlled explosion on Saturday managed to demolish all of the bridge except its concrete piers and one steel span that will be demolished using traditional methods later this summer. The entire bridge demolition will be completed by the end of August.

The Inner Belt Bridge was opened in 1959 and was the widest bridge in Ohio at the time. The Pratt Deck Truss bridge stood 128 feet tall, 116 feet wide, and 5,078 feet long. The bridge was closed to heavy trucks for nearly a year and a half from November 2008 to 2010 after a computer model showed the bridge was structurally insufficient. ODOT spent $10 million making repairs to the bridge and removed a 1,500 foot long acceleration lane that was added in 1986. As the demolition of the old bridge is wrapping up, the Ohio Department of Transportation is in the process of building two new bridges, one for traffic in each direction. The new bridges, named after George Voinovich who was a former mayor of Cleveland and Governor of Ohio, will help alleviate congestion and increase the safety of motorists. The westbound bridge opened in 2013 and the eastbound bridge will open in 2016.


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