Ohio Department of Transportation officials will begin work immediately to repair and reopen a bridge in Whitewater Township damaged by a tractor trailer on Tuesday night. But officials say that bridge could take two to three months to repair.
The eastbound Interstate 74 bridge at I-275 was severely damaged last night when a tractor trailer carrying an 80-ton train engine slammed into three bridge support columns. With work expected to begin today, officials estimate eastbound I-74 could reopen in 60 to 90 days.
Eastbound motorists on I-74 are being diverted to southbound Interstate I-275 to Kilby Road back onto northbound I-275 to eastbound I-74. Westbound I-74 remains open; however the ramp from westbound I-74 to southbound I-275 is closed. Motorists can proceed to the Dry Fork Road exit to eastbound I-74 to I-275.
The accident was reported at 6:42 p.m. Tuesday after a tractor trailer carrying an oversized load of an 80-ton railroad locomotive became separated from the semi cab, and ran off the road and into the columns. Three bridge columns supporting the eastbound I-74 bridge were severely damaged, with two of the columns knocked away. An initial repair estimate is placed at $500,000 to $600,000.
Built in 1975, the bridge is a four-span continuous steel beam structure with reinforced concrete deck and substructure that measures 44 feet wide and nearly 260 feet long. Its average daily traffic count in 2005 was calculated at 28,376 total vehicles, 5,935 of which were trucks.