bridge photo

Piers for Defiance’s new Clinton Street bridge are visible in the distance from Fort Street. The first beams supporting the bridge’s superstructure are expected to arrive next week by flatbed truck. They must be bolted together before installation.

Slowly, the outlines of Defiance’s new Clinton Street bridge are emerging.

The concrete columns that will support the new structure being built by Great Lakes Construction Co. of Medina County, have gone up in recent weeks, and are visible from Fort Street and elsewhere. But what may get more attention next week is the setting of the new I-beams across the new piers.

The beams are expected to start coming in on flatbed truck on Monday, according to Ohio Department of Transportation project manager Bashar Kanouh.

They won’t be set immediately, however, because they must be fused together with bolts before being lifted onto the new piers and northside bridge abutment, he indicated. The setting may begin by mid-week, Kanouh added.

The beams will come in two sections of different length, with the largest being 62-foot long. Those alone weigh about five tons, he said.

Ultimately, seven beams — each consisting of seven sections joined together — will be laid from one end of the bridge to the other. By the end of the month, the contractor might be ready to lay beams on the bridge’s two south piers, according to Kanouh.

The new bridge will have four piers with three columns each.

Work on the bridge’s deck could begin in September if all goes well, he indicated.

“It takes quite a bit of forming before you get to the deck,” Kanouh said, adding that crews “probably” will get to the deck “sometime in September.”

Originally, ODOT hoped to have the bridge open by Thanksgiving. That date got pushed back due to high water levels earlier this year, but Kanouh said ground has been made up, and the target date is early December.

“We optimistically think we could finish before that first week of December,” he said.

The old bridge closed on Feb. 24 and was removed.

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