Lift bridge in Port Clinton closing for 8 months due to rebuilding project

Lift bridge in Port Clinton closing for 8 months due to rebuilding project

PORT CLINTON, OH (WTOL) - It's one of Port Clinton's landmarks, and in a few months it will receive a total overhaul. But the much needed construction will cause a lot of headaches for the residents of the lake side city.

The 83-year-old lift bridge in Port Clinton is a main thoroughfare for both land and water travel, which is why it is such a tricky project for ODOT to shut the bridge down for months.

Built in 1932, the lift bridge opens and closes about 3,000 times a year. And the wear and tear and is beginning to show.

On October 15, the bridge will close to vehicular and pedestrian traffic until May of 2017 for a $12.9 million rebuilding project.

ODOT District 2 Public Information Officer Theresa Pollick says they tried to time the work around tourism season.

"We want to make sure that we are doing this construction at the optimal time for not only those who visit and work and live in the area, but as well as the waterway traffic." said Pollick.

The steel spans are being built off site to limit the closure of Lakeshore Drive, but the construction will also close off waterway traffic from December to April. Crews won't just be rebuilding the bridge, but the lifting mechanisms inside as well.

"From the outside it looks simple, but on the inside it is very complex." said Pollick. "So we're going to be working with a lot of those internal components as well."

Along with commutes, businesses on the north side of the bridge will inevitably be hurt during the closure.

"Our club will cut back its hours because the majority of the people do cross the bridge." said Sara Hanselman with the Port Clinton Yacht Club.

But everyone is aware that the work is important for a safe future.

"You always need to keep infrastructure up. And if it needs it for the safety of the people going across? Yes, yes going ahead and fix it." said Hanselman.

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