Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bridging Tremont

© Stuart Pearl 2012 - Click on Image to Enlarge for Slideshow
The Cleveland skyline can resemble a string of holiday ornaments even when viewed through a concrete paving machine.  Not long ago this spot was just a mound of fresh dirt.  By late October though traffic will be flowing across this new stretch of I-90 as it bisects Tremont.  This piece of construction equipment is one of many devices being used to build the new Westbound Innerbelt bridge.  
Looking East from the Tremont Bluffs on January 10 pier #4 reflects the setting sun on the West bank of the Cuyahoga.  Right behind it you can see pier #5 on the east bank.  It now holds the triangular "delta" steel which is connected to pier #6 behind it.  The delta structures will provide future support of the new roadbed.

This closeup of piers 5 and 6 show detail of the delta steel as it crosses over the Norfolk and Southern rail trestle.

This view shows pier #6 on 10/30/12 with the false ironwork still in place supporting the newly installed delta steel.  The current innerbelt bridge is on the right.

The west end of the bridge will be "landing" in the area previously occupied by Cleveland Cold Storage.  In this 9/7/12 photo you can see the early legs of pier #4 adjacent to the Cuyahoga.  The steel tower at the right marks the Norfolk and Southern RR bridge.

Part of Tremont Bluffs had to be regraded after the Cold Storage foundation was excavated.  Removal of that huge building changed the slope's geography.  It was now possible to create a gentler slope down to the Cuyahoga that would put less pressure on the river bulkheads as well as the bridge piers.

The top pictures shows red sheetpile driven into the earth, almost looking like the back of a pipe organ.  It helps to stabilize the earth around the current Innerbelt bridge.  Drainage was also affected and new sewer conduits were installed as part of the project.

Tremont Bluffs can be seen in the distance through the girders and piers of the current Innerbelt bridge.

Standing at Abbey Avenue you can easily see pier #4 sitting downslope in the foot of the old Cold Storage location.  In this January 2013 picture the pier's top cap forms are still in position.

The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church can be seen behind what will become the new I-90 roadway as it comes off the Westbound bridge.

This shot has nothing to do with the Innerbelt Bridge.  I simply post it as a reminder that a wonderful countryside surrounds Cleveland just over the next bridge.  You can see similar views at CVSR's Peninsula railroad station in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.