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Overnight Restrictions on the I-90 Innerbelt Bridge in Cleveland to allow for new testing of strain on structure

Garfield Heights, OH (Monday, October 6, 2008) In order to perform controlled testing on the I-90 Innerbelt Bridge, traffic will be completely restricted on the bridge between approximately 12 Midnight and 2 a.m. overnight Wednesday, October 8 into the early morning of Thursday, October 9.  Motorists may detour via I-77 and I-490. 

ODOT will partner with experts from the University of Cincinnati and Case Western Reserve University to install strain gauges at several key points on the bridge. These strain gauges will measure how much the steel beams compress or stretch, allowing engineers to calculate the actual stress and strain being put on the bridge.

Should weather prohibit this operation overnight Wednesday, testing will be performed during the same time period overnight Thursday, October 9 into the early morning hours of Friday, October 10.

Previous inspections of the Innerbelt Bridge have shown that the steel members are aging faster than expected. Crews currently work to complete a new round of detailed inspections, using an ultrasonic thickness gauge to determine how much strength the steel has lost due to deterioration.

Two lanes in each direction will remain closed on the bridge until these new measurements can be made.  ODOT Director James G. Beasley will then determine what additional action should occur, including any potential reinforcement of the existing structure or continued restrictions on traffic.  While no specific timetable has been determined, those decisions will likely be made by the end of the week pending any unforeseen delays.

As a reminder, ODOT is working with the City of Cleveland and local law enforcement to designate alternate routes and to encourage travelers to utilize the services of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) in order to reduce congestion.  Suggested alternate routes follow:

Suggested alternate routes from the east:
I-77 southbound to I-490 westbound
State Route 2 (Cleveland Memorial Shoreway) westbound
I-271 southbound to I-480 west to State Route 176 (Jennings Freeway) north 

Suggested alternate routes from the west:
I-490 eastbound to I-77 northbound
State Route 2 (Cleveland Memorial Shoreway) eastbound
State Route 176 (Jennings Freeway) south to I-480 eastbound to I-271 north
W. 25th Street to the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge
W. 25th Street to the Detroit-Superior Bridge 

In December, ODOT announced a $140 million major rehabilitation and preservation project to address the bridge deck, a deficient drainage system and supporting members for the outside lanes. ODOT continues to work with its Innerbelt partners on building consensus for the overall $1.5 billion Innerbelt Modernization Plan.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT THE ODOT DISTRICT 12 PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE:
Jocelynn Clemings 216.584.2006 or Faye Callahan 216.584.2005
Ted Strickland, Governor             James G. Beasley, P.E., P.S., ODOT Director      Bonita G Teeuwen P.E., ODOT District 12 Director