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I-75 Overpass collapse kills one

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.  

The investigation is now in the hands of the Ohio Department of Transportation and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  They will try to determine why the bridge section collapsed, killing 35-year-old Brandon Carl of Augusta, KY.  He was part of the Kokosing contracting crew demolishing what was the old exit ramp from northbound I-75 to Hopple Street.  

Police say they expect the southbound lanes of I-75 to be closed through at least Wednesday for the investigation and the clean up.  They plan to maintain detours during the closure.

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One construction worker was killed and a truck driver injured when a section of overpass over I-75 collapsed Monday night. 

Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black says they don't know yet why the section of road fell.

The overpass that fell used to be the ramp from northbound 75 to Hopple Street.  It had been replaced with a new overpass in the last year, and was being torn down.  

Black says several hundred tons of concrete fell onto the Interstate. 

“It’s a workplace incident," Black said.  "You’ve got a lot of heavy equipment in a very, very heavy construction site. Who knows what happened?  But we will find out, working internally, with respect to our own investigation process, as well as working with the state Department of Transportation.”

The person killed was a construction worker.  The name has not been released.

Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell says a truck driver received minor injuries when his semi hit the rubble.

“The semi driver is very lucky," Blackwell said.  "A matter of seconds and his fate would have probably been different as well."

Blackwell says the collapse will affect southbound traffic. 

“This will be a mess," Blackwell said.  "It’s not 'should' or 'could'.  It will be." 

“We’re going to make arrangements for re-routes to get the motorists around this," Blackwell said. "But we want to advise people to please stay away from the area.  Leave appropriate time in the morning to get to work and avoid the area.”

Blackwell says the highway may be closed until at least Wednesday night.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.