It’s not often that I receive a standing ovation when I drive over a bridge. In fact, I don’t think that’s ever happened and that’s probably true for most people. Today, though, I received one.
At 10:00 a.m. this morning, the Columbus Avenue Bridge which links Ohio City and the Flats in downtown Cleveland reopened after a 19-month replacement project. Shortly after it opened, I crossed the bridge on my way to the Canal Road entrance of our Tower City offices.
Several people – presumably local residents and business owners most affected by the closure – lined the bridge applauding cars as the passed over the new span. Workers from Sainato’s Restaurant stood outside the restaurant and provided the heartiest applause. Sainato’s, which is located at the northern end of the bridge, likely suffered the most impact resulting from the lengthy rerouting of traffic off Columbus Road and away from the restaurant.
In a blog post dated May 29, 2013, I described that day’s commencement of the removal of the old bridge. Trusting official sources, I reported an expected reopening of the bridge in June 2014. After six months’ of delays due, in large part, to the need to recalibrate in place the heavy counterweights which raise and lower the bridge deck, the new, brightly painted structure is now in place. Hooray for Columbus Road and its businesses.