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Input for bridge location wasted

Ironton’s council spoke, businesses in the city spoke, but the Ohio Department of Transportation did not listen.

Sunday, January 27, 2002

Ironton’s council spoke, businesses in the city spoke, but the Ohio Department of Transportation did not listen.

Not too long ago, Ironton City Council asked ODOT for a downtown-to-downtown bridge alignment, but that request was denied.

Then, council asked for Second Street to remain open and, once again, ODOT went forward with its own plans and proposed an alignment that will close the road.

Ironton has been alienated from the real decision-making process and ODOT has carried out it’s own operation. ODOT has not listened to the wishes of the city and has followed its own agenda from day one, but the question remains why?

Red tape – that’s about it. ODOT has fulfilled requirements by going to the public and allowing people to talk about what they want. Then, ODOT officials did what they wanted to do anyway.

And now, ODOT has, in no uncertain terms, placed financial pressure on the city. ODOT has reminded city council over and over again that the money for the bridge isn’t totally in place and the longer the city waited, the chances of getting money to fund the bridge gets slimmer and slimmer. ODOT has also reminded council that it is "throwing money" at the current bridge in an effort to keep it open.

So, ODOT officials, you could have saved yourself money and time and went forward with your own plans. That’s what you did anyway.