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Group pushing to name bridge after Ironton#039;s founding father

Construction on the new Ironton-Russell Bridge may be still a couple of years away, but some local people want to settle the question now what to name it.

History enthusiasts want to name the span the John Campbell Memorial Bridge, after the man generally considered to be the founder of the city of Ironton.

The naming of the bridge was the brainchild of local historian, Virginia Bryant.

"I think since it's going to be relocated and it won't be going into downtown Russell anymore, and since it will still be in Ironton, this seems to me to be a natural thing," Bryant said.

The Lawrence County Commission apparently thinks so, too. The commissioners late last week gave their blessing to the idea.

Fellow history enthusiast, Dave Milem, said one by one, local governments and other entities will be contacted for support of the idea.

"It think it's a good idea,"Milem said. "Maybe if we get into it early we might have a chance of getting this done. There may be other people we could name the bridge after, but I don't know who it would be."

The actual bridge type and design will be finalized by 2004.

Construction is expected to start in 2005 and end 2007.

The preferred plan has the bridge connecting on Second Street near Jefferson Street in Ironton and directly connecting to U.S. 23

in Russell, Ky. Teresa Moore/The Ironton Tribune