CLEVELAND – The Ohio Department of Transportation has indicated a possible delay in building the second Innerbelt Bridge. The impact could affect drivers who travel into and out of Cleveland.
On Tuesday, The Plain Dealer reported funding for the new bridge might not be available for 11 more years.
According to a statement from ODOT Director Jerry Wray on Monday, the state does not have the money to pay for several major road and bridge projects scheduled across the state.
Under the current plan, all traffic would be converted from the existing structure to the now-being-built westbound bridge. This first bridge is a planned for completion in 2013 and will mirror a second identical bridge that is eventually planned to house eastbound traffic. That second bridge was slated for completion in 2016.
However, Tuesday’s news could mean drivers would have to use the westbound bridge for both directions of travel. As a result, commuters could face long traffic delays, headaches the extra lanes from both structures are expected to alleviate. The Innerbelt currently handles 120,000 vehicles each day.
I reached out to ODOT headquarters in Columbus as well as their local office in Cleveland. No official reply has been given at this time.
A detail of the funding for the new Innerbelt bridge is expected to be released by an ODOT advisory council Tuesday.