Lebanon bridges the gap

November 26, 2013 by  

Tuesday, November 19, was the day Lebanon residents got their first glimpse of the replacement span of the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge. The new bridge construction was celebrated with an opening ceremony at 10.30 am. The Morrow Bridge crosses the Little Miami Scenic bike path and the Little Miami River.

The ceremony heralded the opening of the first span; the bridge is only half-finished, with traffic using the old bridge while construction continues on the new span alongside. The new structure is 2,240 feet long and rests on concrete piers. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)’s Lebanon office says the northbound lanes will be open to traffic by December, at which time the old truss bridge, which has a metal deck, will be demolished after nearly 50 years of use.

The replacement project started in 2010 and is slated to finish in 2016 at a cost of $88.1m. Each of the twin spans is 55 feet wide, and will be painted with lane markings, indicating two shoulders and two lanes. If I-71 is widened in the future, ODOT said, the bridges are wide enough to carry three lanes in each direction.

The Morrow Bridge is on I-71 between the Wilmington and Lebanon exits, and is crossed by approximately 60,000 vehicles per day. It is also the tallest bridge in the state at 239 feet, carrying the name of Ohio’s first representative, Jeremiah Morrow (1771-1852).

Lebanon officials might consider working with a brochure printer to create a mailer for residents giving the history of the bridge and Morrow’s contribution to the state.