New westbound Innerbelt bridge opening delayed; dedicated Friday to honor George V. Voinovich

Crews must still paint traffic striping on bridge

CLEVELAND - The new westbound Innerbelt bridge, which was set to open to traffic Saturday, has been delayed until Sunday or Monday.

Crews still have to paint traffic stripes on the bridge and need temperatures above 45 degrees.

Milder weather is expected Saturday.

The official completion of the first half of the Innerbelt bridge ends years of traffic shifts and construction work. The Ohio Department of Transportation held a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday morning.

The bridge was officially dedicated the George V. Voinovich Bridge during a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Lt. Governor Mary Taylor and other guests. The event was held atop the new bridge Friday morning. Overnight Friday, the bridge will be open to carry westbound traffic entering from East 9 Street and Ontario.

The public was invited to a special "Bridge Preview" event Friday morning, where part of the bridge was opened for pedestrians.

Some people walked across the new westbound bridge, one man roller skated, others pushed baby strollers.

Many people took pictures.

In the next few weeks all westbound traffic will be moved over to the new bridge, followed by eastbound traffic.

The new bridge will be split into two lanes in each direction.

Once the bridge is carrying all Innerbelt traffic, the old bridge will be demolished and the new eastbound bridge will be built and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

One-hundred forty thousand vehicles use the Innerbelt daily.

The new bridge stands 115 feet tall, which is about ten feet lower than the old bridge. ODOT said it will offer better views of downtown Cleveland.

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