Port Clinton Lift Bridge Reopening Delayed
Bridge will NOT open to vehicles & pedestrians by June 14
State Route 163
Port Clinton Lift Bridge
BOWLING GREEN, OHIO (May 24, 2018) - The closure of the Port Clinton Lift Bridge has been extended again due to the complexity of the project. The construction schedule for this project has been aggressive since it started and contractors, Ruhlin Company and Perram Electric Inc., continue to have issues with the precise alignment of the bridge. Because of these issues, the bridge will not be reopened to vehicular and pedestrian traffic by June 14.
For the bridge to be aligned properly, each corner must be perfectly square and have the exact same elevations. If this is not achieved it will cause misalignment in the center finger joint, issues with the center locking devices and with the mechanical system that drives the bridge. These issues did not become apparent until the new spans were set and it was found that items salvaged in the retrofit were not compatible.
ODOT understands the importance of this bridge to the locals and summer tourism. We are aiming to have it reopened to the public by the Independence Day holiday weekend and will continue to work with the contractors to confirm a new opening date. We will send a follow-up release next week as soon as we can determine the extent of the additional work.
This bridge is one of only four lift bridges maintained by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). This is a unique project, and there is complexity that comes with adding updated mechanical and technological components while preserving the historical elements of this iconic bridge.
The bridge will remain closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic during the extension. However, the waterway below is accessible with one span of the bridge to remain operable at all times. It is the helmsman's responsibility to know if their boat will clear the opening. Occasionally, both spans may be open.
ODOT shares in the community's frustration of this extension, and we are trying to get the bridge reopened as quickly as possible, while also completing the project correctly.
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The environmental review, consultation and other actions required by applicable Federal environmental laws for these projects are being, or have been, carried out by ODOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated December 11, 2015, and executed by FHWA and ODOT.