CLEVELAND - Five of nine spans of Cleveland’s old Innerbelt Bridge disappeared in seconds Saturday as the Ohio Department of Transportation did a controlled explosive demolition of the steel skeleton.
When the bridge opened along Interstate 90 in 1959 it was the widest bridge in Ohio, carrying four lanes in each direction, ODOT said. The bridge carried interstate traffic in both directions and was a classic steel “Pratt Deck Truss” with a cast-in-place concrete deck and steel parapets. It stood 128 feet tall, 116 feet wide and was 5,078 feet long.
Cleveland Ariel Media released aerial video of the explosion taken by a drone. (See video in player above.)
The bridge was blown apart by a half-second blast of 182 pounds of explosives placed at 88 points along the bridge. The detonation sent more than 10 million pounds of steel crashing into the Cuyahoga River Valley below.
Concrete piers and one additional steel span will be demolished this summer using traditional methods. Demolition is expected to be complete by the end of August.
Commuters now use the first of a pair of new structures that is temporarily carrying traffic in both directions until completion of the second new bridge in late 2016.
Replacement of the 1959 bridge is vital to the success of moving people in and out of downtown Cleveland now and in the future. It will enhance capacity, bolster our economy and ensure the safety of motorists, ODOT said.