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ODOT may be asked to modify B-2

If Ironton City Council members approve an expected proposal by its Public Utilities Committee Thursday, Ohio Department of Transportation officials will be asked to modify one of its proposed alignments for the Ironton-Russell Bridge replacement.

Wednesday, February 21, 2001

If Ironton City Council members approve an expected proposal by its Public Utilities Committee Thursday, Ohio Department of Transportation officials will be asked to modify one of its proposed alignments for the Ironton-Russell Bridge replacement.

The proposal would slightly modify the B-2 route, which connects Ironton and Russell, Ky. with a bridge ramp entering South Second Street from Vernon to Adams streets. The modification would place the access ramp between Second Street and the ramp to the existing bridge – in the area currently occupied by Terry’s Mobile Glass and Sherwin Williams Paint.

During a meeting Tuesday, Mike Haas, chairman of the Ironton Business Association’s Bridge Committee, met with Public Utilities Committee members to discuss the three bridge proposals. On Feb. 8, 81 percent of the IBA members polled voted to support the B-2 alternative.

On Sept. 9, 1999, council passed a resolution supporting a downtown-to-downtown bridge before ODOT narrowed the proposals down to two – B-2 and B/C-1, which also enters Ironton on South Second Street, but from Monroe to Adams streets. Council has not revisited the resolution since.

In the resolution, council maintained that the bridge should stay in the downtowns of both cities for several reasons. It states the bridge was "built privately by businessmen from the Ironton and Russell communities to connect the two business communities,"is "a lifeline for the two downtown business communities" and should be built adjacent to the existing bridge "so that the existing bridge can remain open during construction" of the new bridge.

At the time the resolution was passed, ODOT had only proposed four corridors for the bridge, listed as A, B, C and D. Council’s resolution rejected A, C and D and called for a "revised Corridor B." The B-2 proposal basically fits the description of council’s resolution with the exception of the access ramp.

Councilman Jesse Roberts said he doesn’t like the access being on Second Street for traffic reasons. He said it would be nice if ODOT would consider the modification to allow Second Street to remain open.

"I have a real problem with shutting down Second Street or any other street for that matter," Roberts said.

One concern ODOT may have with the modification of the current B-2 plan, Haas said, is the curve it would take to relocate the access ramp. In his estimation, Haas said the curve to realign B-2’s access would not be much different than that of B/C-1a, an alternate route that ODOT introduced in late January.

"B/C-1a has a pretty sharp curve," Haas said. "If they can do it at that location, they should be able to do it (for the proposed modification) as well."

Haas said, if council chooses to adopt the modification and IBA members are in accordance, he will present the suggested change to ODOT soon.