CINCINNATI -- A heavily-used connection between two popular Cincinnati neighborhoods reopened slightly ahead of schedule after having been closed for months.
The Marburg Avenue bridge, which connects Hyde Park and Oakley, was deemed in poor condition and in need of replacement last year. Work began in early 2017 to demolish the 86-year-old bridge and build a replacement at a cost of roughly $2 million.
Officials estimated the new bridge would open sometime in October, but members of the community cut a ribbon and officially reopened the bridge on Saturday.
Councilwoman Amy Murray said she was excited to see hundreds of people come out for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
“They are out celebrating the bridge that’s opened,” Murray said. “It’s kind of separated the community. People are on this side of the bridge, the northern side, haven’t been able to walk to the southside.”
Taryn Goldschmidt lives in Oakley with her two sons, Cole and Cooper. Goldschmidt says she’s glad to be able to walk her sons across the bridge to their grandparent’s house.
“We love to walk. We have family that lives on the other side of the bridge,” she said. “It was so nice for us to be able to get the stroller out.”
The former bridge at the intersection of Marburg Avenue and Wasson Way was rated four out of nine on a federal bridge rating scale. That means it was "structurally deficient" and in "poor condition."
The bridge, which once boasted only one narrow sidewalk, now offers two wider sidewalks on either side.
It's a project that caused some unrest among the two communities, particularly about where the city should suggest detours through the heavily residential area. Roughly 14,000 vehicles crossed the bridge each day, according to Carl Uebelacker, former long-time Hyde Park Neighborhood Council Board member.
Department of Transportation and Engineering Director Michael Moore told City Council's transportation commitee in February that the closure was unavoidable due to the proximity of nearby residences, the Wasson Way railroad tracks, and the grade of the slopes leading down to the ground below the bridge, which employ temporary, wooden shoring panels.
The bridge was closed for roughly six months.