KYOVA official offers date for Ironton bridge

Published 10:33 pm Saturday, June 27, 2009

PROCTORVILLE — They were a couple of transportation projects near and dear to the hearts of a lot of Lawrence Countians. One looks a little closer to getting off the drawing board than the other.

That was part of the message Michelle Craig of KYOVA Interstate Planning Commission offered to the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce at its monthly 4th Friday luncheon. This month the Chamber met at Ohio University Proctorville Center.

One is the Ironton-Russell Bridge replacement project. With that, Craig said, a contract is expected to be let in December 2010.

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“We will see some progress with that soon,” she said.

The other was the Chesapeake Bypass that has been on the county’s wish list for years.

“We all know where we wish that was,” Craig told the audience.

She said it remained a high priority but that there were other transportation needs that have been met first.

Afterward, Craig said it was not a matter of other projects bumping the bypass, but that it is a very expensive project.

“We have been able to have other projects. They are feasible, not as exorbitant,” she said.

Craig also gave an overview of the history of the commission that came out of the nation’s desire to improve the country’s transportation system that dates back to the 1930s.

Then under the Eisenhower administration, individual projects were able to move forward. However, when border problems arose, that inspired the need for coordinating councils.

This year is KYOVA’s 40th anniversary in Huntington, W.Va. The council is made up of local elected officials, the private sector with technical and citizen advisory committees.

Among the agency’s past success stories are Pullman Square in Downtown Huntington and the 31st Street Bridge between Proctorville and Huntington.

The chamber meetings will go on a summer break for the next two months with the luncheons picking back up on Sept. 25 at the Chesapeake Middle School. There will be a Business After Hours on Sept. 10 at Liebert in Ironton.