Archived Story

Mayor to meet again with ODOT officials

Published 12:00am Sunday, September 11, 2011

On Tuesday, Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship will again meet with officials from the Ohio Department of Transportation concerning the Ironton-Russell Bridge.

Blankenship, along with State Rep. Terry Johnson or a member of his staff, will meet in Columbus with ODOT Assistant Direct Greg Murphy, Blankenship said, adding that he is hopeful that director Jerry Wray would attend the meeting as well.

The meeting is the follow-up to another session Blankenship had with ODOT officials Aug. 25.

ODOT announced last month that the bid sale date for the new Ironton-Russell Bridge would be delayed from its previous date of Oct. 6. The new date will be after Oct. 6 but by June 2012. Officials from the department said it will use a new private-public funding program to finance the bridge.

During the first meeting, Blankenship laid out the reasons he wants the bridge bids to go forward as scheduled. At the upcoming meeting, the mayor hopes to get an answer about whether or not that will happen.

“I have very little information at this time but they did say it’ll be worth my time,” Blankenship said. “I’m very hopeful that they took my last meeting seriously and revaluated (delaying the bid opening).”

Reached Friday afternoon, representatives from ODOT district did not comment on the meeting, saying that no one from the local office will be in attendance.

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