Construction Resumes at Sight of Deadly Crane Collapse

Mon April 05, 2004 - National Edition

TOLEDO, OH (AP) A state contractor began using a crane Saturday to lift pieces of an interstate bridge into place for the first time since a deadly crane collapse in February halted the project.

The northbound lanes of Interstate 280 were closed at 6 a.m. so Fru-Con Construction Corp. could hang concrete bridge segments with the crane, said Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman Joe Rutherford.

All lanes of I-280 were reopened by 5:30 p.m., the State Highway Patrol said.

Rutherford said the truss used Saturday is designed differently than the 1,000-ton crane that collapsed Feb. 16 while putting together the roadway on the bridge. Four workers were killed and four injured.

Authorities could close interstate lanes in the future for construction that would require lifting pieces of the bridge over traffic, Rutherford said. Future closures also would depend on the outcome of an Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation, he said.

"Until we’ve got a very high comfort level with the truss and working over live traffic, we’re going to continue to close northbound 280 while we launch and hang segments," he said.

The OSHA investigation is to finish by mid-August. The accident has delayed completion of the bridge by more than a year.

The northbound lanes of I-280 reopened March 12, about two hours after the last piece of wreckage was removed. The southbound lanes reopened three days after the collapse.