Original Post: Interstate 71 near the Little Miami River will be closed for several hours Sunday morning. Crews building the new Jeremiah Morrow Bridge are ready to take down what remains of the original southbound span.
"Basically, it's the end pieces on either side of the Little Miami River," says Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman Brian Cunningham. "The span across has already been taken apart piece by piece. What we will be doing is imploding a little bit of the structure up top and the piers on either side of the river."
This is one of the last big events in the seven-year bridge replacement project.
"There will be some resurfacing of the southbound lanes, and then we'll be opening the southbound rest area that has been closed. We'll have to put some connector roads to the southbound rest area. Those will be minor disruptions. All told, we should be done with everything by about August."
Cunningham calls the project a huge undertaking because it involved replacing the two highest bridges in Ohio. Plus, the bridges span a federally recognized river that had to be preserved.
Interstate 71 will be closed in both directions between the State Route 73 exit and the State Route 48 exit. The Sunday closure begins at 5 a.m. and will last until 11 a.m. The demolition is set for about 7 a.m. The schedule is dependent upon the weather.
The Little Miami Scenic River and Trail will also be closed during the demolition time frame.
The detour for southbound I-71 is SR 73 to U.S. 42 to SR 48 to I-71; the detour for northbound I-71 is SR 48 to U.S. 42 to SR 73 to I-71. During this detour, the ramps from SR 123 to northbound I-71 and from Wilmington Road to southbound I-71 will be closed.