The off-ramp overpass that fell onto the southbound lanes of I-75 Monday night did not cause a lot of damage to the highway.
That doesn't surprise Andrew Hermann, past president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, who has been following the story. But he says the fact that the span did fall was surprising.
“Generally, they have demolition plans where they try to take into account all the possibilities as they’re taking down a bridge, to do it safely," Hermann said. "So it was very surprising to hear that it collapsed."
The Ohio Department of Transportation says the field review of the Interstate 75 off-ramp collapse took less time than expected, meaning the clean-up and repairs were finished sooner than anticipated. ODOT spokesman Brian Cunningham says the only damage to the four southbound lanes of I-75 was a two-foot by two-foot hole.
“Speculation was there were going to be multiple areas that would need to be fixed. And that just wasn’t the case,” Cunningham says. “And so when the assessment was done, it was evident that there was just one particular area that had damage to it.”
Update 1/20/15 2:51 p.m.: ODOT says the field investigation has concluded, and the clean up operations have started. In a press release, ODOT says debris removal is expected to take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. After that, inspectors will look at the southbound lanes of I-75 to see if any repairs are needed.
Update 01/20/15, 12:45 p.m.: The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the City of Cincinnati have released new information about Monday night's overpass collapse on southbound I-75.