A single clause in a contract could be what's keeping the Bellaire Bridge demolition from getting started.
Benwood officials say that clause is absolutely necessary. It requires the demolition company to post a $500,000 bond, in a local bank, in the name of the city of Benwood.
If the job is completed in 6 months, the demolition company gets the money back in full. But if there's a problem and the job is not finished, Benwood keeps the money, plus the scrap steel from the span.
"It's pretty plain and simple," said Benwood Police Chief Frank Longwell. "It's up to them. The ball is in their court. We're ready to go when they are."
"I don't think it's unreasonable for us to ask for the $500,000 up front and the steel," said Benwood Mayor Ed Kuca. "If he cannot complete the project in 6 months, then we can get our own contractor in and that's what our engineer says it would cost."
They say there's currently a flurry of correspondence between lawyers for both sides.
Benwood officials say the bridge continues to be a safety hazard, dropping rusted metal parts onto thriving businesses below. They say the deposit is just a way to make sure it's done, and done right.