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ODOT to give update at Chamber event

Greater Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce members and guests will hear next week a state update of two county road projects – the Ironton-Russell Bridge and the Tri-State outer belt.

Saturday, March 10, 2001

Greater Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce members and guests will hear next week a state update of two county road projects – the Ironton-Russell Bridge and the Tri-State outer belt.

The Ohio Department of Transportation will present the update at the Chamber’s noon luncheon meeting Friday at the Grandview Inn in South Point.

Everyone attending must make reservations before Wednesday by calling the Chamber at 377-4550. Lunch costs $10.

The Chamber organized the meeting for members’ benefit but it’s important for every county resident to stay informed about the transportation issues, Chamber president Richard Slack said.

"It’s important to keep these issues in the public eye so the public knows what’s going on," Slack said.

And it’s good for everyone to know public officials’ thoughts on the issues, he said.

The bridge project has gained much attention in Ironton.

There are two proposals for a new bridge, both touching down on Second Street, that came about after more than a year of ODOT public meetings and discussion with area government stakeholders.

The issue now seems to center on the impact both pose to Ironton business.

The IBA announced in February that 88 percent of its members favored keeping the bridge connected to the two downtowns (plan B-2). The Ironton City Council’s Public Utilities Committee has suggested to council that the state modify B-2 to place the bridge access ramp between Second Street and the current access road.

ODOT has said it will schedule another formal public meeting in the spring with more environmental data and bridge plans.

Discussions on the Tri-State outer belt will likely center on the Chesapeake Bypass in eastern Lawrence County and the interaction it might have with neighboring West Virginia road projects, Slack said.

The chamber is looking at more of a regional approach, or what will affect the entire Tri-State area, he said.