City closing aging bridge behind Music Hall

Posted at 4:29 PM, May 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-06 23:42:40-04

CINCINNATI – City officials are closing a deteriorating pedestrian bridge connecting Cincinnati Music Hall to a parking garage.

The bridge crosses Central Parkway to connect the western side of the Music Hall to parking at the WCET building. However, the bridge “is currently well beyond its useful lifecycle and presents a public safety risk,” City Manager Harry Black wrote in a memo to city council members.

Depending on funding, officials have three options they are considering: renovation, replacement or demolition.

Renovating the bridge would extend its life by less than a decade.

Replacing the bridge would likely cost between $3 million and $4 million, which would not be covered by the funds for the planned Music Hall renovations.

Demolition would likely cost between $600,000 and $700,000.

City officials are working with WCET, the Cincinnati Arts Association, 3CDC and the Department of Transportation and Engineering to determine what to do next.

Problems with the span go back years: It was the only city-owned bridge identified in "poor" condition in the Department of Transportation and Engineering's 2013 annual bridge report. At that time, demolition was estimated to cost $900,000, while a renovation project was estimated to cost $1.5 million. In his memo Friday, Black said renovation likely would only be a short-term fix.