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ODOT Swings Into Gear for Emergency Repairs

Tue February 28, 2023 - Midwest Edition #5
Cindy Riley – CEG Correspondent


There was significant damage to the bridge, forcing authorities to close the northbound lanes of the interstate. Crews worked with contractor ES Wagner to remove a portion of the bridge deck and beams that were damaged in the crash.
(ODOT Photo)
There was significant damage to the bridge, forcing authorities to close the northbound lanes of the interstate. Crews worked with contractor ES Wagner to remove a portion of the bridge deck and beams that were damaged in the crash. (ODOT Photo)
There was significant damage to the bridge, forcing authorities to close the northbound lanes of the interstate. Crews worked with contractor ES Wagner to remove a portion of the bridge deck and beams that were damaged in the crash.
(ODOT Photo) The piece of hauled equipment that hit the bridge slid into the median but did not directly affect traffic.
(ODOT Photo) In the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 10, ODOT crews responded to a chaotic scene after an oversized semi-tractor trailer struck the Lime City Road bridge over I-75.
(ODOT Photo) According to preliminary findings, the driver of the truck was traveling northbound on I-75 when his load — the base of an intermodal container crane — hit the overpass.
(ODOT Photo) A new girder section needs to be fabricated and installed, along with pouring the portion of concrete deck and parapet that was removed. ODOT is in the process of determining when this work will take place.
(ODOT Photo)

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is coordinating repairs involving one of the busiest freight routes in the nation, following an accident in Rossford, Ohio.

In the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 10, ODOT crews responded to a chaotic scene after an oversized semi-tractor trailer struck the Lime City Road bridge over I-75.

"All lanes of I-75 were covered in concrete debris under the bridge," said David Geckle, ODOT District 2 bridge engineer. "Several cars were on the outside shoulder with damage, and the piece of equipment that struck the bridge was lying in the median."

According to preliminary findings, the driver of the truck was traveling northbound on I-75 when his load — the base of an intermodal container crane — hit the overpass. The impact caused debris to strike another vehicle, causing minor injuries to the motorist. Several more vehicles struck debris following the initial crash, and one commuter was hurt when he fell outside his vehicle.

There was significant damage to the bridge, forcing authorities to close the northbound lanes of the interstate. Crews worked with contractor ES Wagner to remove a portion of the bridge deck and beams that were damaged in the crash.

"The first action was to get traffic diverted from the interstate onto a workable detour," said Manuel Carrillo, ODOT Northwood outpost transportation manager. "Crews and equipment were mobilized to begin clearing debris."

The fascia girder on the bridge was completely severed near the point of impact. Several crossframes had broken free and the concrete deck suffered some damage on the bottom side from shear studs pulling out.

Concrete debris from the bottom of the deck and steel crossframes from between the steel girders that were dislodged upon impact had to be cleared. The piece of hauled equipment that hit the bridge slid into the median but did not directly affect traffic.

"The initial repairs included removing the damaged portion of the girder and a portion of the reinforced concrete deck to stabilize the structure," said Geckle. "No through traffic was allowed to pass under the structure until the damaged portion of girder and deck were removed. While the demolition was occurring, the contractor did not allow any persons near the work site."

ODOT alerted traffic approaching the I-475 split that the freeway was closed ahead, advising drivers to seek an alternate route. This allowed as much traffic as possible to use a parallel route with little impact to travel time. Any vehicles that traveled past the I-475 ramp were required to use the last exit before the Lime City Road bridge (SR 795, a four-lane divided highway). Motorists traveled I-280 to avoid the closure.

Crews worked throughout the day and night to make the most urgent repairs. The damaged girder was removed to within approximately 15 to 20 ft. of the adjacent piers (at the splices). The existing reinforced concrete deck was removed over top of the damaged girder and to within 2 ft. of the adjacent girder. The contractor used an excavator with a hoe ram to remove the parapet and deck, as well as an excavator to pick portions of the damaged girder that were cut into manageable lengths.

"I-75 was opened to traffic at 2:45 a.m. Saturday morning, a little more than 24 hours after the initial impact," Geckle noted.

The Bowling Green Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the incident. A witness who was hit by debris followed the driver of the semi, who did not stop. Law enforcement was notified of his location, and he was taken into custody.

This is the second time in five years the bridge has been damaged. In both instances, the bridge was struck by a vehicle that did not have the proper permits for the height of the load it was carrying.

As for the remaining repairs, a new girder section needs to be fabricated and installed, along with pouring the portion of concrete deck and parapet that was removed. ODOT is in the process of determining when this work will take place. CEG




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