PORT CLINTON, OH (WTOL) - The opening of the Port Clinton Lift Bridge is being delayed for a fourth time.
The bridge was supposed to be open on July 20, but that is no longer that case.
ODOT on Thursday said that the tentative new opening date is Aug. 7.
"Should the final testing be finished sooner, ODOT will open the bridge as soon as possible," said a statement from ODOT's that was posted on the Port Clinton Police Department Facebook page.
Crews are bolting the bridge into permanent placement with about 200 bolts. After the permanent bolting, the bridge is to undergo testing at full power before opening to the public.
"The contractors continue to make progress, but not at the pace expected," said Patrick McColley, District Deputy Director for ODOT District 2.
ODOT officials said it shares in the community's frustration of this extension, "and we are trying to get the bridge reopened as quickly as possible, while also completing the project correctly. Additional equipment and workers have been brought in. The bridge is estimated to last another 75 years before needing another rehabilitation project."
The News Messenger reports that contractors told ODOT the bridge will now be complete on July 30, but ODOT believes it will be at least early August before the bridge reopens.
The bridge was originally supposed to be fully operational by tourism season, but was delayed for six weeks due to sporadic winter weather.
The $12.9 million project was delayed again until the end of June, and yet again at the beginning of July before this latest delay.
The bridge has been closed since Oct. 14.
The News Messenger reports that the two companies working on the bridge would be fined $5,000 per calendar day until the bridge is complete.
This is prime tourism season for the Port Clinton area.
ODOT is expected to release a statement on Friday with a new completion date.