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Woodland gets support

Yesterday, workers placed beams for the new bridge at Woodland Cemetery.

The beams are a part of the pre-cast foundation, Gene Johnson, superintendent of Armstrong Steel of Newark said. The beams should be in place by Thursday, he said. The next parts of the project include making a concrete deck and building a new sidewalk.

The project is slated to be completed by Nov. 20, Johnson said. The construction began early this summer.

The city of Ironton has spent approximately $10,000 and the cemetery board is spending $100,000, city councilor and cemetery board member Jesse Roberts said. The project is also being financed by the Ohio Department of Transportation and other agencies.

Weather-permitting, the project should be finished on time, Cecil Townsend, county manager for ODOT said.

"Without a doubt, this is something that people in Ironton should be proud of," he said. "Prior to construction, the bridge was closed for a couple of years and people had to drive through Coal Grove to get to the cemetery. It caused a lot of problems and headaches."

The original bridge, built in 1908, was designed to last 60 years. It was restored in 1978. But, the cemetery handles 300 funerals a year, Monday through Saturday. That's an average of one funeral per day every day so the antiquated bridge was feeling its age.

The new bridge will have concrete piers and span-- an improvement over the steel and asphalt design of the current structure. It will also be longer, wider and higher that than current one and will be wide enough for two cars to pass each other with a pedestrian walkway.

Also, the new bridge will be approximately 10 to 12 feet higher than the old one. The additional height will raise it above flood stage.