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City may change bridge location

For the first time since the Ironton-Russell Bridge proposal began, Ironton City Council may change its position the bridge’s location.

Tuesday, May 22, 2001

For the first time since the Ironton-Russell Bridge proposal began, Ironton City Council may change its position the bridge’s location.

Council’s public utilities committee met last night to discuss a recommendation to the entire council body to change its stance on the bridge’s location.

"I never thought I would say this," said councilman Jesse Roberts, a member of the public utilities committee, when he asked for a vote to recommend council review its downtown-to-downtown policy.

Ironton Council currently has an ordinance in effect that supports the downtown-to-downtown placement of the bridge.

The reason for the review comes from opposition from the Russell, Ky., Council. Russell Council members do not want a downtown placement, instead they would like to see the bridge connect to U.S. 23., above the city.

Russell Mayor Don Fraley was at the meeting and told the committee Russell Council was committed to seeing that the bridge placed outside of their downtown area. Fraley said residents in the downtown area fear a new bridge linking their downtown will result in more traffic rolling through their community.

Ohio Department of Transportation officials have been urging the councils to move forward with their site recommendation so the project can enter into further phases of development.

"We’re at an impasse," said utilities committee member Leo Ulery, who continues to advocate the downtown linking placement.

The recommendation to reconsider council’s stance on the bridge placement will be made at Thursday’s council meeting.