YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Inspectors with the Ohio Department of Transportation were out Friday to look at a bridge over Interstate 680 where a piece of concrete fell onto a van below.
Youngstown Police and Fire were called just before 1 p.m. Thursday to the southbound lanes of I-680 after a piece of concrete fell from the Mahoning Avenue overpass.
The driver, who is from Cleveland, suffered minimal injury besides a scratch, and he is expected to be okay.
ODOT inspectors looked for and removed any other loose pieces from the bridge.
“Really get up under there where the concrete meets the beams underneath where you really can’t see well from a visual inspection on the ground,” said ODOT spokesperson Justin Chesnic. “We found a couple more pieces of loose concrete and removed those.”
Chesnic said this type of incident happens from time to time as concrete is exposed to weather and traffic.
“That moisture in there, freezing and thawing, and the concrete expanding and cracking and then combined with the vibration of the motorists driving over the top of the bridge help expedite that,” he said.
Engineers call the process “spalling.”
Chesnic stress the bridge is safe and that all of ODOT’s bridges are inspected at least once every two years. This one was inspected in May 2021.
The bridge is in the same area where a crash two years ago sent a heavy steel coil smashing into one of the pillars holding up the bridge. The area had to be closed for a couple of months while the pillar was repaired.