U.S. Grant Bridge coming down

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 15, 2001

PORTSMOUTH – After 74 years of spanning the Ohio River, the U.

Wednesday, August 15, 2001

PORTSMOUTH – After 74 years of spanning the Ohio River, the U.S. Grant Bridge in Portsmouth is being removed piece by piece.

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Last Wednesday, crews from C.J. Mahan Construction began to dismantle the bridge, removing a section from the middle span of the deck.

Kathleen Fuller, Public Information Officer for ODOT District 9, said demolition of the deck removal is "progressing well." She added that it took about "three hours last Wednesday to remove the first section after the initial cuts were made; however, once the first section from the middle span was removed, it became easier to remove other sections. With three sections of the middle span being removed first, the crews have been working from side to side to take down the rest of the bridge. The contractors hope to have all of the sections removed within two weeks so that they can complete the demolition by the end of the month." If all goes according to plan and demolition can occur at the end of the month, the construction will be ahead of ODOT’s schedule.

Once the sections are gone, then remaining cable will be removed and the piers towers will be demolished by explosion.

ODOT is also working to preserve the bridge’s history. The contractor will salvage certain items from the bridge for a display that will be constructed after the completion of the new U.S. Grant Bridge.

The contractor expects to have the deck removed in two or three weeks and estimates the entire demolition project to take six or eight weeks to complete, depending on the weather and the river’s water level.