The demolition of a bridge that has been out of commission since the 1990s is looking more promising.
Benwood Police Chief Frank Longwell and others will be meeting with a federal judge on May 10 to come up with a final plan to remove the bridge between Benwood and Bellaire.
Longwell says several factors make the bridge’s demolition more likely.
The Coast Guard has decided that the piers do not have to be removed, the value of scrap metal is up by more than 30%, and the concrete decking does not have to be shipped as far away for disposal.
Longwell says the bridge is not only useless, but it is also a hazard and needs to come down.
“There are a lot of pedestrians under the bridge, school buses, city buses, pedestrians walking. It’s a huge, huge safety concern at this point because we keep picking up large pieces of steel and concrete that are falling down beneath it,” said Longwell.
Longwell says if they are able to come up with a cost-effective plan to remove the bridge, the next step would be for Benwood City Council to move to condemn it.
He says this bridge removal project would not cost taxpayers any additional money.