Bridge work takes workers hundreds of feet over traffic, Maumee River
The Ohio Department of Transportation has been working on the High Level Bridge for years, including a complete rebuild from 2012 to 2015. Workers installed lights late last year, along with repainting the bridge. Now, an important project is underway to keep the cables lasting a long time.
ODOT engineer Phil Senn tells 13abc that the project involves dehumidification. That process requires piping around the cables, with pumps under the bridge to blow dry air through. The goal is to keep moisture away from the cables, preventing them from rusting and breaking down. Senn says the project costs around 18 million dollars, but to replace the cables altogether could cost up to three times that amount. He hopes to extend the life of the current cables to last at least 90 years.
To access the cables on the bridge, workers must access a metal walkway using ladders, then walk up the path that spans hundreds of feet. At the peak, ODOT administrators say workers are about 200 feet above the Maumee River.
Engineers say the High Level Bridge is the only bridge in Ohio, and just the 3rd or 4th in the country, to have this kind of technology to extend its life.
While construction on this project takes place, one lane of traffic is closed in both directions on the bridge. Engineers say that will be the case until summer 2020, when they expect the work to be complete.