Bascule Bridge: Letters to ODOT

In our (seemingly) neverending quest to find out what’s going on with the Bascule Bridge; in our desire to find out when, except for this:

that this

will look like this again!


I wrote Brian Stacy, District 3 Public Information Officer for ODOT, a letter shortly after the last meeting (at City Hall). And I asked:

Mr. Stacy,

I attended the meeting at Lorain’s City Hall Friday, and was curious about something. Since ODOT is responsible for the bridge and its upkeep, doesn’t ODOT have blueprints/diagrams of the working parts of the bridge? Mr. Wright stated that when the older parts were removed, that “there were additional parts that were totally unforeseen.” Over the course of the years that ODOT has performed maintenance on the bridge, was he suggesting that ODOT isn’t as familiar with the mechanics of it as it probably should be? It almost sounds like he was saying that ODOT went into the project unawares of the workings of the bridge?

I’m just trying to understand, as there are a lot of folks looking to string someone up for the delays. I’d just like to get some info out there.


Mark Teleha

To which Brian Stacy replied,

Mr. Teleha,

Thank you again for contacting ODOT regarding the Charles Berry Bascule Bridge project, and for participating in Friday’s meeting. Thank you also for the additional information you provided in a separate email.

I appreciate your desire to simplify this situation and this project; however, this is a complex project with multiple issues and multiple entities working together in concert to get the project done as best as possible. ODOT is responsible for the bridge and does have plans from this and former projects to repair or maintain the bridge.

As has been noted, this bridge is 68-years-old and there are only five like it currently operating in the state of Ohio. This means that many of its parts and operations are much different than the other 42,000 bridges in Ohio. So, ODOT has brought in additional mechanical and electrical engineers who are familiar with this type of lift bridge to assist with specific elements of the project. ODOT is managing the project and overseeing the work of consultants Barr & Prevost, HNTB, and URS; as well as, the construction contractors Great Lakes Construction and Lake Erie Electric. All of these companies are working with ODOT to complete the maintenance and repair project.

During the work this summer, some unforeseen issues were identified and the necessary parts were ordered. ODOT’s first priority is get the bridge working again. We are also looking into where mistakes were made with this project and how they could have been avoided or prevented.


Brian Stacy
District 3 Public Information Officer
Ohio Department of Transportation
800-276-4188, ext. 207-7182


6 thoughts on “Bascule Bridge: Letters to ODOT

  1. Thanks for the updated information. Still sounds like a run-around regarding responsibility. I truly believe there will be no blamed placed anywhere for anyone. It happens will be the final outcome. They will tell us they did their best, unforseen problems, unique parts, and on, and on, and on. Let’s hope they get the bridge operable before the beginning of the year. Of course, we may want to look into the close of shipping season. If they are not finished with the fix by the close of shipping season, they could put it down and worry about opening it up again at the start of shipping in the spring.

  2. Actually, I don’t think they can, Eastsider, because I think they said that the parts that are needed are what slow the bridge as it’s being lowered. Otherwise, I think it would slam shut!! And that wouldn’t be good….

    And I do have to agree with you. I doubt there will be any blame affixed and that it will go down as something unfortunate that occurred and they’ll know next time…

  3. Hopefully that “slamming shut” isn’t what the last person leaving Lorain hears on their way out of town…. This is really too bad of ODOT after all they are supposed to be EXPERTS!!!! and aren’t they public employees HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

  4. Received this press release
    November 12, 2008

    U.S. 6 Bascule Bridge – UPDATE

    Lorain County: The U.S. Route 6 (Erie Avenue) Charles Berry Bascule Bridge will move into the next phase on Thursday, November 13 when the contractor begins testing the bridge operations. During this phase, which may continue into early next week, the public may see the bridge in the up or down position, or moving between these two positions. At no point during the testing phase will the bridge be open to motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrian traffic.

    When the contractor determines that the bridge is operationally sound and safe for traffic, the Ohio Department of Transportation will open the bridge. At that time, the detour signs will be removed and an update will be distributed via the media and the project website:

    For additional information on lane and road closures caused by construction, accidents, or other related traffic events, visit

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