City: Music Hall bridge in jeopardy of 'imminent failure'

City: Music Hall bridge in jeopardy of 'imminent failure'
(Source: FOX19 NOW/Mike Buckingham)
(Source: FOX19 NOW/Mike Buckingham)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A Downtown Cincinnati bridge is closed to pedestrian traffic after being found in jeopardy of "imminent failure."

According to a city memo, the Central Parkway pedestrian bridge that connects Town Center Garage to Music Hall is "seriously deteriorated" and should be demolished.

"At the recommendation of our structural engineers, this is being pursued as expeditiously as possible," said City Manager Harry Black in the memo.

During a recent bridge inspection, the Department of Transportation and Engineering found one beam lost significant strength due to section loss (approximately 70 percent) and its web is no longer attached to flanges for a "considerable length and is in a state of imminent collapse."

Based upon the inspections, the condition of the bridge was lowered from a rating of "serious" to a condition of "imminent failure."

The DOTE has blocked two lanes of Central Parkway below the bridge until either emergency shoring is installed or the bridge is removed.

"Although the area most impacted is likely centered directly below floor beam #9, falling debris from a collapse could spread to open traffic lanes, thus imposing a danger to the traveling public on Central Parkway," said Black.

The memo states that DOTE estimates the floor beams could be reinforced at a cost of approximately $50,000 - $60,000.

However, Black says administration believes it would be a poor investment.

"Repair of the existing structure is impractical and is likely to be more costly than a new structure, and inevitably the existing bridge deck and structure will be removed, even if a replacement bridge is constructed," said Black.

The bridge's current supporting piers and foundation will remain in place as they do not present any public safety concerns, Black said. They will be used to support a new bridge should the decision ultimately be made to replace the existing ones.

Copyright 2017 WXIX. All rights reserved.