Published: Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 11:00 AM
By: Lawrence Budd - Staff Writer
OREGONIA — Interstate 71 will be closed to traffic again to complete demolition of the old Jeremiah Morrow Bridge in Warren County after problems last weekend.
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I-71 will be closed between the Ohio 73 and Ohio 48 exits from 5 a.m. until 10 a.m. Sunday.
The interstate is being closed again to ensure motorists’ safety while the remaining piece of southbound span of the old bridge is demolished.
“We’re just being safe,” said Adam Treiber, project engineer for the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Last Sunday, four spans were to be imploded.
Two of the spans were successfully imploded, and a third span was demolished when explosive charges were set and detonated a second time.
On the final span, the steel structure heading north and east away from the Little Miami River, only half of the charges detonated on the first try.
The steel structure is propped on a pier from the old bridge, Treiber said.
“It was determined the only safe method to bring this remaining span down would require another implosion and mandate closing I-71 in the vicinity of the bridge,” according to a press release issued this week by the Ohio Department of Transportation.
The detour for southbound I-71 is Ohio 73 to U.S. 42 to Ohio 48 to I-71; the detour for northbound I-71 is Ohio 48 to U.S. 42 to Ohio 73 to I-71.
During this detour, the ramps from Ohio 123 to northbound I-71 and from Wilmington Road to southbound I-71 also will be closed.
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Also, traffic on the Little Miami Scenic River and trail will not be permitted between Wilmington Road and Ohio 350 and north- and southbound rest areas will be closed.
Law enforcement and construction workers will be stationed at various access points to enforce the restrictions.
All work is weather permitting.
Unlike last week, no media will be permitted within the protected zone created for the demolition.