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Bid awarded for bridge repairs

Because construction of the new Russell-Ironton Bridge is still about three years from beginning, the Ohio Department of Transportation plans to

repair and resurface part of the existing 80-year-old structure.

Intech Contracting of Lexington, Ky., was awarded a contract for $144,000 Aug. 14

to remove existing concrete and replace loose sections of concrete-filled steel grid decking on the Ohio side of the bridge approach, said Kathleen Fuller, public information officer for ODOT District 9.

"This is a maintenance and preservation project to keep the bridge safe and sound," she said.

The contractors will also patch deteriorated concrete and apply new asphalt

on the bridge surface but will not alter the metal grid that is comprises the main span, she said.

No start date has been set, but the project is expected to last four to six weeks. A tentative completion date is set for Oct. 31, barring any unexpected weather or emergency, Fuller said.

Portions of the bridge's steel grid deck have become deficient, and the project is necessary to maintain and preserve the existing bridge until a new structure can be built, said District 9 Traffic and Bridge Studies Engineer Greg Baird in a written release.

"The wearing surface is failing and the steel in the bridge deck is expanding, causing distress in the deck and expansion joints,"

Baird said.

"This project will help to reduce additional wear on the bridge and ease traffic movement, thereby assuring the bridge's safety and prolonging its life."

Last year, the bridge was retrofit to add reinforcement supports along the bridge's joints where there were indications of cracked or distressed pins.

"We will try to keep traffic impacts to a minimum during this project," District 9 Deputy Director John F. Hagen said in a written release. "However, closure of the bridge may become necessary in order to give the contractors proper access to the bridge while they are repairing it and allow them to expedite the project more quickly."

Lane restrictions are anticipated in the daylight hours for the duration of the project, Fuller said. The bridge will remain open to one lane of two-way traffic, and the lane restrictions will be limited between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

According to the bid contract, complete closures will be limited to evening and overnight hours, between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., and cannot last longer than seven days, Fuller said.

Other general maintenance projects will probably be necessary during the life of the bridge, Fuller said. Michael Caldwell/The Ironton Tribune