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TAKE A LOOK: Is this local bridge safe? State engineers say yes

Published: Thursday, October 26, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Friday, October 27, 2017 @ 3:42 PM

Hole in highway ramp bridge from Smithville to westbound U.S.35 remains

The damaged on-ramp bridge from northbound Smithville Road to U.S. 35 westbound will remain open and unrepaired until 2019 when that bridge is removed as part of a full-interchange rebuild, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

The ramp, which loops over U.S. 35, was damaged in November 2016 when a flatbed truck carrying a huge heating and cooling unit struck the underside of the bridge. ODOT spokeswoman Mandi Dillon said the impact caused significant damage to the edge of the bridge, and portions of concrete were removed for safety reasons.

The state received $86,204.61, which was full payment on its claim from the truck company’s insurance for the damage, said Matt Bruning, ODOT spokesman. 

ORIGINAL STORY: Ramp closes after truck hits bridge

The damaged “flyover” entrance ramp from northbound Smithville Road to westbound U.S. 35 will be eliminated when the interchange is reconstructed in 2019. JEREMY P. KELLEY / STAFF(Staff Writer)

Bruning said it is typical for the state to seek repayment from at-fault drivers or their insurers for damage caused to infrastructure in crashes.

The on-ramp has remained open since then, but appears to have a large bite out of the concrete where the bridge goes over the highway, with the side wall of the bridge removed. Concrete barriers have been placed on the ramp to prevent cars from getting too close to the damaged area.

Ohio Department of Transportation officials said the ramp is safe in its current condition.

“What you’re seeing is more exterior (issues),” Dillon said Wednesday. “We have had that bridge inspected. It is safe. What you’re seeing is not anything that’s weight-bearing or going to cause a safety issue.”

“I know it sometimes looks different, but it is safe.”

RELATED: Part of Stroop Road in Kettering to close for months

Ohio Department of Transportation engineers say the flyover ramp from Smithville Road to U.S. 35 is structurally safe despite damage from an accident. The bridge will not be repaired because it was scheduled to be eliminated in 2019, the state said. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Staff Writer)

Dillon said ODOT keeps an eye on the bridge to make sure concrete around the impact area doesn’t crumble onto the highway.

“It would have required structural repair in that section that’s been blocked off, and they’re going to be (removing) it in 2019,” Dillon said. “It just made more sense with taxpayer dollars to wait rather than put all this money into it and then replace the interchange in a year.”

A description of the 2019 project says the looping “flyover” ramp that was damaged will be completely removed and not replaced.

RELATED: Alex-Bell bridge project to last through November

Instead, northbound traffic on Smithville to westbound U.S. 35 will stay straight on Smithville, going over U.S. 35, then turn left onto a new entrance ramp to westbound 35. That ramp will join the current ramp from southbound Smithville to westbound 35.

All lanes of I-75 North open after multiple crashes near Tipp City

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 12:35 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 7:06 AM

SCENE: Multiple crashes on NB I-75 in Tipp City

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

Major Highway Incidents

  • On NB I-75 in Tipp City north of SR 571, four separate crashes reported around 5:30 a.m. All lanes reopened around 7 a.m. 

Surface Street Incidents

  • No incidents to report. 

>> RELATED: WHIO App-Winter

>> RELATED: Check for delays or cancellations before heading to the airport

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

  • Keowee Street north of Stanley Avenue, bridge closed until 2019. The official detour is: Keowee Street to Stanley Avenue to I-75 to Wagner Ford Road and back to Dixie. More information is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west and east, Lane width restriction until Apr. 1, 2018. One lane will remain open on the ramp with a width of 11 feet.
  • I-70 between Upper Lewisburg Salem Road and Brooksville-Phillipsburg Road, Lane closure Jan. 22 - 29. One lane will remain open in each direction at all times. Shoulder closures Jan. 22 - Sept. 30. Both the inside and outside shoulders of I-70 will be closed during construction. 

Tsunami warning issued after 7.9 magnitude earthquake off coast of Alaska

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 5:02 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 6:55 AM

A tsunami warning is in effect after a preliminary 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck  173 miles southeast of Kodiak, Alaska.

>> THE LATEST: Officials tell residents to seek higher ground amid tsunami warning

UPDATE @ 6:55 a.m. 

The Kodiak Police Department reports water has started to recede from their harbor, and are urging residents to move to higher ground and wait for updates, according to a Facebook post. 

 Police also posted a video about 5:40 a.m. Eastern Time, warning residents a tsunami could be on the way. 

The tsunami watch, issued for parts of the Hawaii has been cancelled, but remains in effect Oregon, California, and Washington.  

FIRST REPORT

The earthquake was at a depth of 15 miles. There have been nine aftershocks, from 3.1 to 5.0 magnitude.

The Oregon, California and Washington coasts are under a tsunami watch.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

According to the National Weather Service, the first waves should arrive around 2 a.m. local time (6 a.m. Eastern Time). Residents are being told to seek higher ground.

The National Weather Service tweeted that a buoy just northeast of the epicenter recorded a water displacement of 32 feet.

This story will be updated as we learn additional details.

Migos and their fans want the group cast as hyenas in ‘Lion King’ remake

Published: Monday, November 06, 2017 @ 11:20 PM

Quavo (middle) of rap trio Migos (pictured) wants Disney to cast the group as the hyenas in the remake of
Quavo (middle) of rap trio Migos (pictured) wants Disney to cast the group as the hyenas in the remake of "The Lion King."(Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET/Getty Images for BET)

The rap trio Migos wants to put its stamp on the highly-anticipated remake of “The Lion King.”

On Sunday, Migos member Quavo posted his plea for the trio to make their Hollywood debut in the upcoming live-action remake, which already has an all-star cast including Beyoncé, Donald Glover, Alfree Woodard and Keegan-Michael Key.

Related: Disney confirms Beyonce, Donald Glover, more for ‘The Lion King’ in 2019

“Call us,” Quavo tweeted to Disney about the group playing the three hyenas.

>> Read more trending news

One problem, though. Key, comedian Eric Andre and actress Florence Kasumba have already been cast as hyenas in the new film, slated to premiere July 19, 2019.

The group’s fans were on board.

Twitter users offered numerous examples of how the group’s signature phraseology would fit right into the “Lion King” script.

As with many social media campaigns, Migos didn’t quite have everyone on board for the possibility of the group members playing the hyenas, partially because the parts were already cast to begin with.

Migos producer arrested, accused of driving 125 mph on Georgia freeway

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 5:51 AM

Pierre “Pee” Thomas, a producer credited for starting the careers of Migos, Lil Yachty and others, was arrested for reckless driving by Alpharetta police. (Credit: Alpharetta DPS via WSBTV.com)
Alpharetta DPS via WSBTV.com
Pierre “Pee” Thomas, a producer credited for starting the careers of Migos, Lil Yachty and others, was arrested for reckless driving by Alpharetta police. (Credit: Alpharetta DPS via WSBTV.com)(Alpharetta DPS via WSBTV.com)

A record label co-owner and producer credited with the speedy success of Atlanta-based Migos is facing charges after his alleged speed behind the wheel caught the attention of Alpharetta, Georgia, police.

>> Watch the news report here

Dashcam video obtained by WSB-TV’s Mike Petchenik shows officers pulling over Pierre “Pee” Thomas last Sunday. Thomas, the chief executive of record label Quality Control, has produced records for rappers such as Migos, Lil Yachty, Lil Baby and Rich the Kid.

The officer "observed a red SUV traveling at a high rate of speed,” said Officer Jason Muenzer. “He noticed the vehicle was going about 100 mph.”

Muenzer said the officer got on Ga. 400 near Old Milton Parkway and began following Thomas north.

“That officer tried to catch up to the vehicle, but he himself got up to about 120, 125 (mph) and even then, the officer noticed the vehicle was pulling away from him.”

Eventually, video shows Thomas pull over off McFarland Parkway in Forsyth County.

He told officers he was heading home from the studio.

>> Read more trending news 

“When the officer approached the vehicle, the driver acted as though he didn’t see the officer,” Muenzer said. “The only excuse he had was he didn’t see the officer and he wanted to get home.”

On the dashcam video, the officer questioned Thomas and his speed.

“What were you doing going that fast, man?” he can be heard asking. “You were pulling away from me. I was doing 120 (mph) just trying to catch up to you. You were pulling away from me.”

Officers would later handcuff Thomas and take him to the North Fulton Jail annex on reckless driving charges.

Police told Petchenik this arrest was just one of a series recently on the busy highway.

“It’s getting old,” Muenzer said. “Those speeds, the slightest crack, the slightest item in the roadway, road debris, you can lose control of your vehicle.”

Thomas’ attorney, Drew Findling, told Petchenik that his client was not impaired and complied with officers.

“We will go to court in the city of Alpharetta and look forward to putting this matter behind him,” Findling said. “We will resolve it in court.”

– The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.