Repairs were scheduled to start this week on the Main Avenue Bridge. Trucks were banned from the bridge in July after ODOT engineers discovered "strength issues" with the 72 year old bridge. Now that work is being delayed until the following week of October 22 at the earliest.
NewsChannel5's Paul Kiska recently made a public records request to obtain and view engineer's pictures of the weakest steel plates that need to be fixed on the bridge.
The rivets, gusset and steel plates, seen in the attached photos, support beams that help the bridge support the weight of trucks.
ODOT spokeswoman Amanda Lee told NewsChannel5 the plates will be repaired and have extra support plates added to brace the older plates. Lee said that rivets will also be replaced with high strength bolts.
"The gusset and steel plates that need to be fixed are fracture critical," Lee said explaining that if one plate fails the bridge could collapse.
"The contract to perform the repairs was awarded to Ruhlin Company for a bid price of $274,266. The contractor is waiting for items to be fabricated and repairs will begin as soon as those items become available. Hopefully as soon as next week," Lee told NewsChannel 5 Sunday afternoon.
However, Lee said the 35,000 motorists who use the bridge daily are not in danger now that trucks have been banned to lighten the load.
In August, a News Channel5 exclusive, showed Cleveland Police and the Ohio State Highway Patrol cracking down on truck drivers hauling too much weight on the Shoreway and pulling over some truck drivers still using the Main Avenue Bridge.
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