After 20 months, the Columbus Road lift bridge has finally opened to vehicular traffic, and getting downtown will no longer resemble, in the words of Scene Managing Editor Eric Sandy
, "something on the order of a Peter Jackson film."
The construction faced several delays
— the bridge was originally slated to open in June, then October — but the county's crews have removed the final blockade and cars began passing through a little after 10 a.m., Dec. 31.
The project cost upwards of $30 million and the final delay was due to calibrating the massive counterweights that raise and lower the central span over the Cuyahoga.
That span, which reportedly weighs about 2 million pounds, was constructed off-site and conveyed via barge
to the bridge location this summer.
Via the NEOMG, if prior traffic patterns hold, the bridge can be expected to carry more than 6,000 vehicles every day.