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I-71 To Close Again For Bridge Demolition

Crews say they weren't able to implode all four spans last Sunday so the highway will be shut down again this weekend.

Originally published April 25, 2017 3:58 p.m.

It turns out 'they're not done yet.'

Interstate 71 will be closed again Sunday as crews make a second attempt at imploding what's left of the original Jeremiah Morrow Bridge.

Click here to watch last Sunday's implosion.

The highway was shut down April 23 for the demolition but now the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) says only three of the old spans were imploded.

In a statement ODOT says, "On one span while all of the charges were detonated the blast did not fully cut through the steel supports as required to completely drop it. These charges were reset and the span was successfully demolished."

ODOT continues, "On the other span only half of the charges detonated due to a connection issue with the original detonation. It was determined the only safe method to bring this remaining span down would require another implosion and mandate closing I-71 in the vicinity of the bridge."

Those problems delayed the highways reopening by an hour Sunday.

As WVXU reported last week, the implosions are some of the last big events in the seven-year bridge replacement project. ODOT spokesman Brian Cunningham calls the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge 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 April 30 closure begins at 5 a.m. and goes until at least 10 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.

ODOT Detours

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.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.