The new Valley View Bridge opens to eastbound traffic
CLEVELAND – Walsh Construction, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), has reached a major construction milestone of the massive I-480 Valley View Bridge as lanes open to eastbound traffic. The 4,150-foot long bridge is the largest active construction project in Ohio and, with a value of $227 million, is one of the largest projects in ODOT history. Despite the difficulty of such an enormous undertaking during a global pandemic, the project remains on schedule.
At 4,150 feet long and up to 212 feet high, the bridge includes staggering amounts of construction materials:
- 12.5 miles of piling under the bridge foundations
- 11 million pounds of rebar
- 19 million pounds of structural steel
- 8.5 miles of inspection catwalk underneath the bridge for future maintenance and inspection
- 66,000 cubic yards of concrete. That’s enough to pour a four-foot-wide sidewalk to Cincinnati—over 200 miles away.
Due to the space constraints of building between two existing bridges, the engineering team had to concoct a novel system to install the new structures. As a result, crews assembled bridge sections on land—rather than 212 feet in the air--before hoisting 250-foot girders into place using gantry cranes. The method saved time and improved safety.
In addition to working closely with ODOT, Walsh has partnered with OSHA and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. The partnership has had a remarkable outcome: only one recordable OSHA incident in over 210,000 manhours.
“On behalf of the Walsh team, we’re glad we could be part of the historic project. It’s something we can be proud of and we can tell our kids and grandkids that we worked this job,” said Scott Febus, project manager at Walsh Construction.
The I-480 Valley View Bridge is part of a major thoroughfare in Northeast Ohio and carries over 180,000 vehicles per day over the Cuyahoga Valley. Upon completion, the bridge will have six lanes in the eastbound and westbound directions, including a center express lane. After this recent completing of the new eastbound lanes, crews can now begin removing and replacing the original 40-year-old eastbound structure.