Cleveland’s Innerbelt Bridge comes down with a bang

Cleveland’s Innerbelt Bridge comes down with a bang

July 12 controlled explosive demolition is successful.

July 16, 2014
CDR Staff

On July 12, 2014, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), Trumbull-Great Lakes-Ruhlin (TGR) and thousands of Clevelanders said their final goodbyes to the Interstate 90 Innerbelt Bridge as it disappeared into the Cuyahoga River Valley.

Controlled explosive demolition of the steel skeleton of the 1959 Innerbelt Bridge took place shortly after 6 a.m. and dropped five  of the nine  steel spans of the old bridge.

Demolition began in January 2014 and has been a sequenced activity much like construction, only in reverse. The bridge railings, lights, barriers and concrete driving surface were all removed using traditional methods as well as specific steel spans over the river and railroads. Concrete piers and one additional steel span will be demolished this summer using traditional methods. Demolition is expected to be complete by the end of August 2014.

When the bridge opened in 1959 it was the widest bridge in Ohio, carrying four lanes in each direction. The bridge carried interstate traffic in both directions and was a classic steel “Pratt Deck Truss” with a cast-in-place concrete deck and steel parapets. It stood 128 feet tall, 116 feet wide and was 5,078 feet long.

ODOT is in the midst of replacing the 1959 bridge with two new structures – one to carry traffic in each direction. The pair have been named in honor of statesman George V. Voinovich. Replacement of the 1959 bridge is vital to the success of moving people in and out of downtown Cleveland now and in the future, ODOT says in a press release. The first of the pair is now open and temporarily carrying traffic in both directions until completion of the second new bridge in late 2016.

More information on this project and others along the Innerbelt Corridor, visit

The Innerbelt Bridge demolition is featured as the Cover Story "Team Players" in the July/August issue of Construction & Demolition Recycling available by clicking here.

For a video report of the project click the video below: