CLEVELAND — Work is on hold along a busy stretch of highway because of unexpected speed bump. The Ohio Department of Transportation explains what's causing delays on I-77 and the bottleneck at I-490.
Drivers traveling on I-77 southbound see three open lanes, but when traveling northbound, many are left wondering why there are no additional lanes open going northbound.
It all came down to contractors needing to dig deeper on one bridge support, forcing the delay.
“There were 28 piles that we had to put 40 feet deeper. We had to pause to order more materials and then they have to weld that extra steel onto the existing steel and that also takes time," Amanda McFarland, ODOT District 12 spokesperson.
The project includes replacing the dual two-lane bridges with a six-lane bridge that should eventually help ease congestion into and out of downtown Cleveland with three lanes of traffic in each direction.
The extended drilling is completed and now ODOT is just waiting for the weather to cooperate so they can put the finishing touches on the project.
“We’re going to need a few consistent days of it being over 50 degrees to be able to do the approach work, which is the pavement work that leads up to the bridge on both sides. We need about 50 degrees to complete that work and make sure that it’s not bumpy— the transitions going on and off that bridge," said McFarland.
ODOT said it didn't expect to have the southbound side reopened last fall, but mild weather allowed construction crews to finish the work before the year ended.
The additional work will affect the price tag, but ODOT said the ultimate cost of the project won't be figured out until all of the work is completed.