November 26, 2014

Elyria
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Officials say Berry Bascule Bridge slated to be reopened by Friday

LORAIN — After more than five months of waiting, Lorain’s Charles Berry Bascule Bridge will finally be open by this Friday, according to Ohio Department of Transportation officials.

The bridge has pointed skyward over the Black River since June 9, and its planned September opening was delayed when ODOT discovered the bridge’s computer-operated braking system wasn’t compatible with another computer controlling its mechanical systems.

As a result, businesses on both sides of the river suffered from the lack of summertime crowds, and many — including Chello’s Family Restaurant, Dairy Queen and Pecora’s Wheels-N-Deals — closed as a result.

ODOT spokesman Ken Wright said all the bridge’s new components have been successfully installed, but testing on the bridge will continue through the end of the week.

Lorain Mayor Tony Krasienko said while he’s pleased the project is coming to an end, he hopes that ODOT learns to avoid similar mistakes in the future.

“The bottom line is ODOT needs to have better planning, so businesses and residents can plan appropriately,” he said.

The 333-foot-long bridge, once renowned as one of the world’s largest drawbridges, averages about 15,000 vehicles per day when it is open.

Contact Stephen Szucs at 329-7129 or sszucs@chroniclet.com.