|Demolition work on U.S. 224 bridge delayed|
|Sunday, March 02, 2014 9:00 PM|
LIMA — The first anticipated closure of the U.S. 224 bridge over Interstate 75 in Findlay has been delayed and is now tentatively scheduled for this weekend when the south half of the existing bridge will be demolished.
The demolition was originally scheduled to begin last Friday evening.
Beginning Friday, the U.S. 224 bridge will close while demolition of the southern half of the bridge occurs. During demolition, the ramps at the interchange will essentially become the lanes of I-75 as traffic on the interstate will be directed up and over the ramps. This will begin at 9 p.m. Friday and continue until 6 a.m. March 10 at which time the bridge will reopen.
During that weekend, access across the bridge on U.S. 224, access to U.S. 224 from I-75, and access to all ramps to and from I-75 will be prohibited. Traffic on U.S. 224 will be detoured to Ohio 12 and Ohio 235. Traffic wishing to enter or exit I-75 from U.S. 224 will be directed to the Ohio 12 or County Road 99 interchanges.
Beginning next week, U.S. 224 will be reduced to one lane in each direction from just west of I-75 to Broad Avenue. Also at that time, traffic on the bridge will be shifted to the north half of the bridge and will be reduced to two lanes, one lane in each direction with no turn lanes. This pattern will remain in place once the bridge reopens to traffic. The work zone on the bridge will be defined with concrete barrier.
As part of the preparations for the demolition work, lane closures on I-75 will occur this week during nighttime hours, generally between 8 p.m.-10 a.m., to allow temporary striping and concrete barrier wall to be placed. The lanes on the interstate will be shifted slightly.
“We are remaining flexible in the schedule of construction due to changing weather conditions. Weather caused the delay of the original scheduled demolition and could likely factor in again,” said Kirk Slusher, Ohio Department of Transportation District 1 deputy director.
The interchange project involves replacing the bridge on U.S. 224 over I-75, widening the roadway from five lanes to six to create two travel lanes in each direction and a dedicated turn lane onto I-75 for each direction, reconstructing the ramps, replacing the existing traffic signals, and constructing a sidewalk on the south side of the bridge from Broad Street to North Ridge Road.
The project is one of several state wide which will be constructed entirely with funds secured from Ohio Turnpike bonding. The projects were approved last October by the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Committee after being approved and submitted by the Transportation Review Advisory Council.