It was a stunning sight. Normally you see images like this on the news. They are buildings found in a war zone or a Hollywood movie. Sometimes they are the result of a violent bombing.
I couldn't help but think of that very sad day in Oklahoma City back in 1995. So I had an emotional jolt when I framed this image.
The old Cleveland Cold Storage is one of 23 major structures that will have to be demolished to make room for the new Innerbelt Bridge. And once the visible floors have been removed, the basement areas will also have to be dealt with to insure stable terrain for pier construction.
As soon as the Cold Storage demolition has been completed, workers will begin stabilizing the hill that slopes down to the Cuyahoga. Over time the shifting hillside has closed the expansion joints on the existing bridge. It's then been necessary to jack up and reposition parts of the bridge to fix the problem.
By regrading the banks, pressure will be reduced on the river bulkheads which is critical to river traffic. To accomplish this it will be necessary to remove more than 200,000 cubic yards of earth. This equates to over 13,000 dump trucks.
Those Tremont residents close to the Cuyahoga can easily see the construction work as it approaches from the East. Pit excavation for support pier #8 is visible on the east bank of the river near the Norfolk and Southern railroad trestle.
This is why Cleveland Cold Storage had to go. It occupies the exact footprint where the new west bound bridge will land when it crosses the river into Tremont.
As of mid July, only a rubble heap of concrete and rebar marked the spot where Cleveland Cold Storage looked out over the Flats.