• 45°

Ironton Council rescinds bridge position

Ironton is officially without a position on the proposed Ironton-Russell Bridge after city council voted to rescind Resolution 99-46, supporting the B-2 – or downtown-to-downtown – bridge placement.

Friday, May 25, 2001

Ironton is officially without a position on the proposed Ironton-Russell Bridge after city council voted to rescind Resolution 99-46, supporting the B-2 – or downtown-to-downtown – bridge placement.

Council’s vote came after the Public Utilities Committee elected to recommend council reconsider its position on the bridge location.

"It’s no secret, I have always wanted a downtown-to-downtown bridge," councilman Jesse Roberts said.

Roberts said the city has come to a point where a compromise needs to be made so the project can move forward. Roberts said Ironton and Russell need to reach an agreement so the construction project can move forward and the two communities will not be without a bridge.

The major opposition to the B-2 bridge placement comes from Russell, Ky. Russell Council has elected to not allow the bridge to land within the city limits, opting instead for the Kentucky-side landing to be on U.S. Route 23.

Russell Council members hold that if the new bridge is allowed to land in their city, traffic volume will increase, which they feel will cause problems for the Kentucky city’s streets.

Ironton councilman Leo Ulery approved the rescission of Ironton’s two-year standing ordinance, but told council members, "I will never support pulling the rug from underneath business."

Ulery added that he didn’t "understand Russell’s position" on the bridge placement.

"I thought they would blink first," he said.

Some people agree with Ulery, wondering why Russell’s opinion on the placement of the bridge carries weight with the Ohio Department of Transportation.

"Even though we (Ohio) hold ownership, under federal law we are required to work with all stake holders," ODOT District 9 spokesperson Kathleen Fuller explained. "Our bridge lands on their property, so we do have a right-of-way issue."

Fuller explained that ODOT cannot take control of the Kentucky property and Ironton and Russell need to "work to come to an agreement appealing to both communities."

Another ordinance was proposed at the meeting to accept alternative D-2 – which would land on Mastin Avenue on the Ohio side and on U.S. 23 on the Kentucky side – as the city’s option for a bridge placement. That motion was tabled pending further discussions.

City council and ODOT will hold another meeting in late June to discuss the bridge placement.