Drive by Defiance’s new Clinton Street bridge today and you may only see some work around the edges. That’s because the heavy work is done, and the structure is ready to open Monday (see related story).
Getting there took a little more than nine months — the old bridge closed for removal in late February — and a whole bunch of concrete and steel.
According to Ohio Department of Transportation project engineer Bashar Kanouh, the four new bridge piers erected in the Maumee River during the spring and summer are supporting more than seven million pounds of concrete and steel.
The bridge deck and sidewalks alone were built with some 350,000 pounds of reinforcing steel, he said, while the structure’s steel I-beams and cross frames weigh another 950,000 pounds.
On the night of Oct. 4-5, the bridge’s concrete deck was poured while a crowd of observers gathered to watch some local history being created. Truck after truck from Baker-Shindler Ready Mix of Defiance journeyed to the bridge during a non-stop pouring period of 16 hours.
By the time they were done, some six million pounds of concrete for the deck had been poured.
When the bridge opens Monday, motorists will see some indicators that the project contractor — Great Lakes Construction Co. of Medina County — still has a few things to do before things are completed.
For example, while the bridge’s new lighting has been installed, it won’t be functional for another week or so after Monday’s opening, Kanouh noted. The light posts still need to be wired, he said.
And the bridge’s sidewalks may have some intermittent closures as final tasks are completed, Kanouh indicated.
Meanwhile, several side streets won’t be open immediately. East River Drive will remain closed at the bridge, as well as both sides of Fort Street (east and west of Clinton Street).
The East River Drive closure may continue for only a matter of weeks, Kanouh relayed, but the Fort Street closures could last until spring. Sidewalk work and other residual tasks are among the reasons.
When East River Drive does reopen at the bridge, a sidewalk to the Zonta Fountain and another closer to the river won’t be finished. In fact, those aren’t expected to be completed until spring, Kanouh indicated. Seeding also will have to wait until spring.
New pavement has been installed on East River Drive and Fort Street, east of Clinton Street, but Fort Street, west of Clinton — where the contractor has staged equipment — will need to be repaved in the spring, according to Kanouh.
On Friday, crews continued to remove a styrofoam material on the bridge’s walls that had been used when they were formed. The styrofoam outlined small windows in the wall that give the bridge a decorative appearance.
Traffic signal signal work north of the bridge remained Friday, as well as some sign installation.