Cuyahoga County Yet Again Delays Reopening of Cedar Point Road Bridge

"The bridge will remain closed with a revised completion date in mid/late 2024"

click to enlarge The Cedar Point Road Bridge, before repairs, in October 2019. - Google
The Cedar Point Road Bridge, before repairs, in October 2019.

For the third time since renovation work began in July of 2021, the reopening of Cedar Point Road Bridge, a key entrance to the Rocky Reservation, will be delayed, this time until "late 2024," according to the county.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, the Cuyahoga County Department of Public Works blamed the "unplanned but necessary replacement of additional structural components" the project team apparently learned about during the winter pause.

"During the systematic repair of the concrete bridge beams, it became clear that the interior beams displayed a larger and deeper extent of deterioration than originally anticipated," the county said in a press release.
click to enlarge Map of the Cedar Point Road Bridge, in the Rocky River Reservation. - Apple
Map of the Cedar Point Road Bridge, in the Rocky River Reservation.

In order to best maximize future usage, and understanding the bridge's age, the team determined "that a total replacement of all the beams would be required."

In August 2022, the bridge's reopening was delayed a second time after eyeing a summer 2023 completion. The original date for Cedar's completion was that October, a lag the county blamed on pandemic-era supply chain issues, especially concerning the shipment of steel.

In early 2021, the Plain Dealer/ reported last August, the county announced it would be paying 20 percent of the $3.1 million required to bring the bridge, which was built 94 years ago in 1929, into a safer condition. The bridge, which endured its first major update in 1975, was originally 43 feet wide.

A federal grant is being used to cover the remainder of the repair, which is also a part of the 2018 Rocky River Reservation Master Plan.

According to a report last year by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, roughly 10 percent of all bridges in the Greater Cleveland area are in "poor or worse" condition.

In the 16th congressional district, which includes the majority of North Olmsted, that number's about 6 percent—a load of 384 bridges in need of $800 million for suitable upgrades, mostly to curb safety worries.

That was a drop from 398 bridges-in-need in 2021, a fall most likely due to the leveraging of funds from President Biden's Infrastructure Law's $60 billion allocation for the country's roads and bridges repairs.

A better completion date for Cedar shall come, the county said, "depending on material availability, weather and river conditions over the course of the next year."

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About The Author

Mark Oprea

Mark Oprea is a staff writer at Scene. For the past seven years, he's covered Cleveland as a freelance journalist, and has contributed to TIME, NPR, the Pacific Standard and the Cleveland Magazine. He's the winner of two Press Club awards.
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