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Bridge choices are now down to two

Where the Ironton-Russell Bridge’s replacement touches down in Ironton has been narrowed down to two choices, state officials said.

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Where the Ironton-Russell Bridge’s replacement touches down in Ironton has been narrowed down to two choices, state officials said.

In late July, the Ohio Department of Transportation presented three "options to the alternative" to Ironton City Council. Now, at next week’s open houses, ODOT’s consultants will discuss only two – 3A Jefferson/Second Street Optional Intersection and 3C Jefferson Street/Mid-block Optional Intersection, planners said Tuesday.

The consultants, Baker and Associates, and ODOT planners will be present at the open houses, set for Dec. 4 from 3-6:30 p.m. in OUSC’s rotunda and Dec. 5 from 3-6:30 p.m. at Russell City Hall.

Since the summer, Baker and Associates has been conducting feasibility studies for the bridge replacement project, and its alignment. Updated information, as well as maps and comment forms, will be available at the meetings.

The two options call for a bridge connecting U.S. 23 in Russell, Ky., to downtown Ironton. Option B/C-3A could cost approximately $81 million, while option B/C-3C could cost $79 million.

Both would impact eight residential properties, while 3A would impact seven commercial sites and 3C would impact four commercial properties.

In summer meetings, ODOT officials stated that the B/C-3A option is the preferred option to the alternative, partly due to the skew and traffic pattern.

Specific options to be presented at next week’s open houses, according to ODOT:

– 3A Jefferson/Second Street Optional Intersection: This proposed option brings the bridge approach up Second Street, closing Second Street to through traffic from Jefferson to Monroe streets. Campbell Street and the railroad crossing remain open to traffic.

Bridge traffic would be able to proceed directly to and from Second Street, as well as destinations in the downtown and further down river. Two right turns and two signals will provide access to Third Street. ODOT stated that bridge traffic is distributed to Third, Second and Campbell streets toward downtown and the street system continues to provide standard vehicular and pedestrian patterns.

– 3C Jefferson Street/Mid-block Optional Intersection: This option retains Second Street but would close Jefferson and Madison streets between Second and Campbell. (Campbell Street access to Jefferson is also closed, but Campbell remains open to through traffic and the railroad crossing is maintained.) From the touchdown, traffic would negotiate one left turn and one signal to go downtown and two signals and one right turn to go south. Bridge traffic is distributed to Second and Third streets to downtown.