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Published: Thursday, 1/10/2013

Craig Bridge breakdown stalls rush-hour traffic

For the second straight day and the sixth time since March 26, the Craig Memorial Bridge broke down yesterday, blocking traffic on I-280 for more than a half hour during the height of the evening rush hour.

Joe Rutherford, an Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman in Bowling Green, said the malfunction at 4:59 p.m. yesterday was identical to the one Wednesday: the brakes keeping one of the bridge's two draw spans raised while a ship passed through would not release afterward.

Electricians replaced a switch after the breakdown Wednesday, but yesterday diagnosed additional problems with the brakes' electrical system. An electrician shunted around the problem so that the bridge would lower, and it reopened to traffic at 5:32 p.m., Mr. Rutherford said.

On Wednesday, the 43-year-old bridge, which carries I-280 over the Maumee River, was closed from 2:14 p.m. until 3:15 p.m. Two of the earlier breakdowns occurred during the wee hours, but on March 27, a switch failure in a different system closed the bridge for three hours, causing a massive traffic jam in downtown Toledo.

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