Cleveland city officials looking to curb crashes at Inman Street bridge
Cleveland city officials are teaming up with the state and the Norfolk Southern to find a way to make the Inman Street bridge safer.
The bridge has been the cause of several crashes involving trucks that are too tall to pass underneath.
When we first shared this story last week, city officials told Channel 3 there was nothing more they could do to prevent crashes at the bridge, right now.
But during Monday's city council meeting, they made it clear an immediate fix is necessary. City Manger, Joe Fivas says trucks larger than 10 ft 10 in are supposed to take an alternate route.
“The bridge level is 10 foot 10 inches which is a little bit lower than normal,” said Fivas.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, bridges on local roads be at least 14 feet tall, but the city says they didn't build the bridge.
“Norfolk Southern owns the bridge and it’s a state highway so TDOT owns that,” Fivas said.
We reached out to Norfolk Southern last week. We asked about the recent accidents and if the bridge has been inspected. The company shared the following statement several days later:
“Norfolk Southern is committed to meeting or exceeding all FRA safety standards, including those related to the structural integrity of railroad bridges. We inspect all bridges annually and immediately after we are notified of an incident.
Norfolk Southern engineers have conducted a thorough safety inspection of the Inman Street bridge and determined that it remains structurally sound. The bridge is inspected regularly to ensure it remains safe for railroad operations. We urge the driving public to carefully observe all posted bridge and vehicle height restrictions.”
There are already warning signs and an alternate route for trucks to navigate around the bridge, but city officials are considering putting up more flashing signs and other warning signs further up the road. They are also considering seeking reimbursement from insurance companies after a crash happens.
“The city council is concerned about the safety in the area and they've asked us to look into some options,” Fivas said. “I'm just glad we have an opportunity to make people a little safer on this issue.”
Fivas says they hope to have a resolution in place in a few months