© Stuart Pearl 2013 - Click on Image to Enlarge for Slideshow
Before year's end Cleveland will have a magnificent new bridge spanning the Flats. This Friday November 8 a ribbon cutting ceremony will mark the opening of the new Ontario Street ramp which will provide access to Tremont.
At nearly a mile in length, this is the Westbound Innerbelt bridge. Leaving the East bank near Ontario Street it crosses the Cuyahoga and lands near Abbey Avenue not far Sokolowski's University Inn.
Less than two years ago Cleveland Cold storage occupied this space between University and Abbey in Tremont. Now bridge piers 3 and 4 sit in the "bowl" carved out by excavation equipment.
An onlooker checks the view near pier three in Tremont adjacent to Abbey Road. Huge concrete blocks are suspended from the end of the curved structural steel to keep the bridge taught while cross braces and other components are added.
On 8/29/13 the last beam of structural steel for the decking was lifted into place near pier two at Abbey Ave.
Ken Fiore was the crane operator that morning hoisting the steel into place.
Signatures of the ironworkers can be seen on the beam. The traditional fir tree has also been attached.
Above is the structural steel of the roadbed for bridge one as seen from the West bank. This section was completed several weeks ago as the last of 10,000 cubic yards of concrete was pumped onto the deck.
Thanks to a guided tour from the Project Team I recently walked the entire span of the bridge from Tremont to Ontario Street, and then back. On average the span is 110' wide and will accommodate six lanes of traffic - half westbound and the other half east - when it fully opens in less than a month. The traffic will be shifted to five westbound only lanes when bridge two is completed in 2017.
These huge drainage pipes will remove rainwater and snow from the bridge deck.
Even a crane's ball and hook can provide the canvas for a colorful paint job.