Taxpayers not on hook for failed implosions of old I-71 bridge

Published: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 @ 8:43 AM

The third time was not quite the charm ODOT officials were expecting as contractors tried again to take down the remaining steel structure of the Jeremiah-Morrow Bridge this past weekend. Done view of the demo work.

Despite four tries, work to implode the old Jeremiah Morrow Bridge over Interstate 71 in Warren County won’t cost taxpayers more money.

State officials and contractors, however, are still trying to figure out how to get the last section of the stubborn structure down.

Pennsylvania-based subcontractor Demtech is expected to complete the demolition and removal of demolished materials without additional funding.

“If it takes them a hundred tries or one try, the contract was to bring down the bridge,” Matt Bruning, press secretary for ODOT, said Monday. “There won’t be any additional costs to the taxpayers.”

WATCH: Section of Jeremiah Morrow Bridge is imploded

The Ohio Department of Transportation will meet this week with the contractor about what to do with the piece that so far has not been demolished — despite four tries in three of the last four weeks.

This is the southernmost section of the southbound span of the old Jeremiah Morrow Bridge before the implosions.(Staff Writer)

The fourth explosive charges, set on Sunday, was the third day designated for implosion of the old southbound span of the bridge over Interstate 71 and the little Miami River. Sunday’s attempt brought down the southern part of the southernmost piece of the southbound span.

RELATED: Third implosion in four weeks

But the north side of the remaining steel landed on the cement pier for the old bridge, according to Bruning.

“It was supposed to come down like a W. It came down more like a V. The southern part is still sitting on the pier,” Bruning said.

It remained unclear what ODOT and Demtech, the subcontractor hired by Kokosing Construction to do the job for $3 million, will do next.

“It’s too early to tell,” Bruning said. “The plan going forward they will develop over the next week.”

RELATED: Bridge implosion misfires

Demtech has not responded to requests for interviews about the project, begun on April 23 with much hoopla, including media access.

The past two implosion attempts have been off limits to the public and media.

The area around the bridge, including I-71, flight path above, river and bike path below were all blocked off May 7 from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

On Sunday the northbound lane was only partially closed, but otherwise transportation was again blocked off and rerouted during the implosion.

» EARLIER: I-71 bridge, Ohio’s tallest, nears completion after 6 years, $104M

As part of closing out the contract, ODOT could pursue fines, known as liquidated damages, but that determination has yet to be made, Bruning said.

“Obviously nobody planned on this all happening. Our focus has been on bringing the bridge down,” he said.

Traffic deaths keep rising in US, but distracted driving fatalities fall

Published: Sunday, October 08, 2017 @ 12:21 PM

Channel 2's Consumer Advisor explains the easy way you can help bring that number down.

WASHINGTON — Traffic fatalities in the U.S. jumped for the second-straight year in 2016 despite a dip in crash deaths linked to distracted driving, according to data released by federal highway safety regulators.

Some 37,461 people died in vehicle collisions in 2016, the highest annual tally since 2007, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration figures. The 5.6 percent rise in traffic deaths last year came after an 8.4 percent spike in 2015, which was the largest annual increase since the mid-1960s.

Fatalities from distracted drivers, such as those texting, fell 2.2 percent last year, NHTSA reported Friday. Deaths linked to other risky behaviors such as speeding, drunken driving and not wearing seat belts contributed to an overall gain in fatalities, the agency said. Drunken driving was blamed for the most deaths.

The agency “continues to promote vehicle technologies that hold the potential to reduce the number of crashes and save thousands of lives every year,” it said in a statement. They “may eventually help reduce or eliminate human error and the mistakes that drivers make behind the wheel.”

» Mom’s viral photo of crash aftermath serves as car seat safety reminder

Another increase in the number of miles driven by American motorists last year helps explain some but not all of the increase in crash deaths. Total vehicle miles traveled increased 2.2 percent last year while the fatality rate grew 2.6 percent to 1.18 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, according to the agency. Miles driven gained 2.3 percent in 2015.

Regulators have sounded the alarm about the rising safety risks on the roads and highways, which comes after a downward trend for the last decade. The gains have also fueled interest on Capitol Hill in self-driving vehicles as a way to curb deadly crashes, with lawmakers advancing legislation to speed autonomous vehicle deployment.

NHTSA also found that pedestrian, motorcyclist and bicyclist deaths also rose in 2016. Non-vehicle occupants accounted for nearly a third of all crash fatalities last year, up from roughly 1 in 4 traffic deaths in 2007.

(With assistance from Lisa Du .)

Heavy traffic expected on I-70 west during bridge replacement 

Published: Thursday, September 07, 2017 @ 10:24 AM

I70w bridge construction

 Indiana will begin work on a bridge replacement for I-70 westbound approximately 3 miles west of the Ohio State line today.

The construction will reduce westbound I-70 to one lane starting today until around September 22. Traffic congestion will back up into Preble County with potentially ten miles of reduced speeds and long delays.  

i70 westbound travelers will experience heavy delays in the next two weeks

A detour has been established that directs traffic north on US-127 to west US-36 and south US 27 back to I-70.   


The Ohio State Highway Patrol, Indiana State Police, Preble County Sheriff’s Department, Wayne County Sheriff’s Department and Richmond Police Department all stress the need for patience and safe driving during this project. 

 If you have an alternate route available it may be best to avoid the area. Please allow for extra time if you are traveling on I-70 west from Ohio to Indiana.


All agencies remind drivers to plan ahead, follow the vehicle in front of you at a safe distance and wear your seatbelt.

Alex-Bell Road bridge work to prompt detours

Published: Sunday, September 03, 2017 @ 5:00 PM

            Work on a bridge over Holes Creek in Washington Twp. is prompting detours on Alex-Bell Road through the end of November. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF
            Chris Stewart
Work on a bridge over Holes Creek in Washington Twp. is prompting detours on Alex-Bell Road through the end of November. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF(Chris Stewart)

Work on a Washington Twp. bridge over Holes Creek will prompt lengthy detours of Alex-Bell Road beginning on Tuesday.

The bridge located about 300 feet west of McEwen Road will undergo a total rehabilitation. Construction is expected to wrap up by Nov. 30, barring lengthy weather delays, according to Montgomery County Engineer Paul Gruner.

About 12,700 vehicles a day cross the 118-foot-long bridge, which has reached the end of its serviceable life, according to the engineer.

Through traffic will be required to take posted detours. The westbound detour for the project is Paragon Road to Miamisburg-Centerville Road to Yankee Street to Mad River Road. The eastbound detour for the project is Mad River Road to Whipp Road to Far Hills Avenue.

The project encompasses a total replacement of the current spans with three-span prestressed concrete spread box beams and a composite concrete deck.

Brumbaugh Construction, Inc. of Arcanum, Ohio was the successful low bidder at $703,442 and will be constructing the project. Funds were secured through an Ohio Department of Transportation State/Federal exchange program and the Ohio Public Works Commission.

SB I-75 reopens after semi jackknifes in Dayton

Published: Sunday, June 18, 2017 @ 8:34 PM
Updated: Sunday, June 18, 2017 @ 9:30 PM

Crash closes I-75 SB in Dayton

UPDATE @ 9:30 p.m.

Southbound Interstate 75 is back open after it was shut down for nearly an hour after a semi jackknifed near the Ohio 4 exit.

No injuries were reported.

Southbound Interstate 75 was shut down for nearly an hour Sunday evening, June 18, 2017, after a semi jackknifed between the Stanley Avenue and Ohio 4 exits in Dayton.

UPDATE @ 9 p.m.

Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar said there was heavy rain in the area shortly before a semi jackknifed on southbound Interstate 75 between the Stanley Avenue and Ohio 4 exits.


All lanes of southbound Interstate 75 are shut down after a semi jackknifes in Dayton.

The crash was reported around 8:15 p.m. near the Stanley Avenue exit. The highway will be closed just north of the Stanley Avenue exit to Ohio 4, police said.

Motorists were being diverted to Ohio 4, and there were heavy traffic backups ahead of the crash.

Police said medics were not called to the scene.

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