Ohio DOT Officially Reopens I-480 Valley View Express Lane Bridge After Six Years of Construction

June 16, 2023
By next Monday, June 19, eastbound traffic will also be able to access the center bridge

After six years of construction, officials from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) recently held a ceremonial ribbon cutting to reopen the I-480 Valley View Express Lane Bridge near the I-77 interchange.

Last week, access to the bridge in the westbound direction was opened. By next Monday, June 19, eastbound traffic will also be able to access the center bridge.

The Valley View Bridge is the busiest in the state according to ODOT, carrying an average of 180,000 vehicles daily. Originally opened in the 1970s, the driving surfaces on the original bridges were deteriorated and had reached the end of their lifespan before work to repair them began in December 2017.

The recently completed construction on the express lane bridge will lessen traffic at interchanges during rush hour traffic by carrying two lanes in each direction. Westbound traffic can bypass the I-77 interchange, and eastbound traffic can bypass the Transportation Boulevard exit.

The center bridge will also act as a built-in detour if there is a crash or construction on one of the mainline bridges. 4

"It means a safer commute,” explained ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. “It means a safer route from the east to the west and it means more people to be able to get through this particular valley over the top of it with of course, safety being the number one concern."

The 4,150-foot center bridge has taken significant time to build due to the complicated nature of building between two already standing bridges.

"You're talking about a massive bridge,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. “You're talking about the fourth largest project in ODOT history."

Joel Halterman, Program Manager of Walsh Construction, the company who built the bridge, explained the complexity of the build. "We would pre-assemble those on the ground and they were over 100 yards long – so the length of a football field – and we had three cranes that would pick them up and carry them in unison, one piece as long as a football field all at one time," he said.

ODOT says minor pavement work and painting will continue on the bridge through June 2024.

“Ohio’s economy is on the move, and this project will help ensure efficient movement of people, goods, and services in northeast Ohio,” said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine in a statement. “Above all, this project improves safety on a busy stretch of highway that all too often sees heavy congestion.”

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Source: WKYC News