Bridge Metal Put On eBay

BENWOOD – Even though the span still hangs over the city of Benwood and the Ohio River, scrap metal resulting from the potential demolition of the Bellaire Bridge is listed for sale on eBay.

Bridge co-owner Lee Chaklos has been ordered by a federal court to start progress on demolishing the bridge by June 20, or he will face a $1,000-a-day fine. He is awaiting a permit from Benwood leaders, who are seeking from him proof of a $500,000 performance bond and liability insurance.

“Just because they don’t hear from us doesn’t mean we’re not working on it,” Chaklos said.

He said he wasn’t aware of the eBay listing, posted March 1, which he believes was “placed by someone in my marketing department.” The listing highlights the sale of the scrap metal from the bridge, and not the selling of the bridge itself.

It states the bridge owner “needs to liquidate this asset quickly.” It adds, “contractor owns estimated 6,000-ton structure, and is looking for a buyer who is in the market.”

“For the right buyer, we can sell for a reduced rate not including loading containers,” the advertisement states.

“As of today’s current market, there is over $2.2 million in value. The steel is ‘for sale.'”

Chaklos said Tuesday he hopes to arrange an appearance before Benwood City Council members at their next meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. April 23.

“I want to try to schedule a meeting with the town and update our status,” Chaklos said. “There’s only one issue – just the bond. And that’s it. I want to propose a few avenues we can take. I want to go right to the horse’s mouth to council … get them to take a look at what have to offer and get going somewhere. We still have 64 days to come up with a solution.”

Chaklos said he doesn’t “want to talk about the past,” but wants to talk to council about the future.