Safety first regarding old bridgePublished 12:15pm Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Safety trumps convenience every single time, thus the Ohio Department of Transportation has been on target recently when erring on the side of caution and implementing temporary closures of the Ironton-Russell Bridge.
Twice in recent months the aging span has been closed for inspections, necessitated after a barge hit one of its piers and someone reported that part of the decking had dropped several inches.
Both times ODOT immediately closed the bridge and began detouring individuals through Ashland until the structure could be thoroughly inspected. Even the second closure, which kept the bridge closed for nearly a day and a half, is still far better than the alternative.
Minor inconveniences are nothing compared to the tragedy that could occur from using a bridge that isn’t safe.
Everyone living in 1967 remembers the horrific collapse of the Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant, W.Va. We hope to never see another disaster of this magnitude.
It will be more than two years before the replacement for the Ironton-Russell Bridge is open to traffic. In the meantime ODOT will continue to do its part to maintain the current span and citizens should just be patient knowing that safety is the ultimate goal.