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OH Bridge Closed Due to Deterioration

Monday, April 29, 2019

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Recently, in Summit County, Ohio, a bridge on Cleveland-Massillon Road was shut down, without any timeline slating when the passage would reopen.

According to Alan Brubaker, the county’s engineer, the bridge on Cleveland-Massillon Road sees 4,500 vehicles travelling in both directions every day.

What Happened

While completing the bridge’s yearly inspection, maintenance crews noticed deterioration in the concrete beams. Both interior and exterior beams exhibted the damage, which calls for many more repairs or a replacement all together. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, the Cleveland-Massillon Road bridge over Wolf Creek is 48 feet long.

“We closed the bridge and thought we would probably be able to reopen the bridge with better beams just in the center, but make it a one-way bridge with a traffic signal,” Brubaker said.

The bridge was originally built in 1922 and was last rehabilitated in 1977. The idea during the late 1970s was that bridges would be built “as economically as possible.” Brubaker stated he felt the bridge’s design was probably too economical.

Apparently, the bridge was scheduled for replacement within the next five or six years, but deteriorated much faster than expected.

Brubaker noted that if you were to cut through the damaged beams, built like hollow concrete boxes, you'd "see a rectangle with basically five inches of concrete thickness on the outside of this rectangle, but all hollow on the inside.

“What they did to make the hollow space was they used an interior form that stayed in place. Believe it or not, the interior form was made out of basically cardboard.”

Because the interior area draws moisture, regardless of the holes in the beam where it can drip out, the inside space was still capable of freezing and thawing, ultimately leading to deterioration. Following the damage, the steel within the concrete has also likely begun to rust.

Developing Plans

Although Brubaker’s office is still working on a timeline for the project and exploring potential options, the most likely outcome will involve removing the existing bridge and replacing it with a culvert.

The culvert would be less expensive than repairing or replacing the bridge all together, and would be expected to last about 100 years.

“We will do some budget adjustments, move something else back in our schedule so that we can put this into our schedule and get this one done this year,” Brubaker said.

While the bridge is not an imminent danger, Brubaker believed closing the bridge was the safest option.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Bridges; concrete; Concrete repair; Corrosion; Deterioration; NA; North America; Ongoing projects; Program/Project Management; Rehabilitation/Repair; Upcoming projects

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