Cleveland Innerbelt lighting out under bridges, ODOT reports repairs will take months

Some drivers are concerned it's a safety hazard
Posted at 10:50 PM, Oct 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-04 10:25:20-04

Drivers report critical lighting under the bridges that span over Cleveland's Innerbelt has been burned-out and dark for several months.

The fixtures are under bridges that are located over the Innerbelt from Dead Man's Curve to the Interstate 71 and Interstate 77 split. 

The lights are under the care of the Ohio Department of Transportation District 12 office.

Cleveland block club leader David Reuse told News 5 he's concerned it's a major safety hazard, with dozens of light not working on Cleveland's highly traveled Innerbelt.

"What do we have to do?  Do we have to have somebody killed before the city of state reacts to it," Reuse said.

"The difference in the shadows, you can't see something small moving.  If there is somebody broke down standing close to the road, you won't see them until the last split second."

News 5 contacted ODOT about the issue, and spokeswoman Amanda McFarland said ODOT was well aware of the issue and already has a contractor assigned to renovating the entire lighting system.

However, McFarland said the project would likely not be completed until the end of the year.

"Well the contractor has to order the supplies and get everything that they need to be able to do it because it's a complete upgrade project," said McFarland. 

"So like I said, they're upgrading all the lights to LED fixtures, and they're re-doing the wiring."

But Reuse believes ODOT should replace burned out bulbs in fixtures that are still operating as soon as possible to improve the lighting on the Innerbelt now and until the complete renovation gets going.

"Something has to be done," said Reuse.  

"Just leave it sitting there, and we'll get to it when we can, that's not good enough. It might be good enough for city workers or state workers, but it's not good enough for the residents of this city."