ODOT to use private sector money to complete Cleveland Innerbelt Bridge project by 2016

CLEVELAND - The director of the Ohio Department of Transportation, Jerry Wray, said ODOT will use money from the private sector to get the Innerbelt Bridge project complete by 2016.

Wray made the announcement live on Good Morning Cleveland Thursday morning. He said the private entities providing financing will be paid interest.

The bridge is a major artery in and out of Cleveland. For several years now, plans have been in place to replace the bridge with two bridges -- one for incoming traffic, the other for outgoing.

But in the past few months, estimated completion dates for part of the project have fluctuated because of ODOT budget shortfalls.

Construction is currently being done on the westbound bridge. That's set to be completed in two years. But the eastbound bridge won't be ready until 2019, three years later than it was supposed to be.

That matters to drivers because until that second bridge is finished, the first bridge will handle both traffic directions and it could get congested.

The original completion date for that second bridge was 2016. At one point, it was pushed backed to 2026, but ODOT reconfigured funds and pushed it up seven years.

Wray and Ohio Governor John Kasich will officially announce the plan at 11 a.m. this morning and will provide further details.

Keep checking newsnet5.com for more information.

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