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Ironton bridge tops TID list of projects

There’s $3 million in the Ohio Department of Transportation allocation budget and Lawrence County wants its share.

That’s why the county’s new transportation improvement district will apply for a total of $850,000 for four construction projects. Deciding and prioritizing those projects was the focus of the TID’s second meeting Thursday.

The TID can ask for up to 10 percent of the costs for each project, not to exceed $250,000.

The proposed Ironton-Russell Bridge tops the lists of projects the county’s TID wants funding for.

“In my opinion the Ironton-Russell Bridge is one of the most significant due to the economic impact to the city and county,” Doug Cade, county engineer and TID member, said. “That bridge is in critical condition. We need to make this one of the top priorities and get it off the drawing table.”

ODOT expects to put the $85 million project out to bid on Oct. 6 with a contract awarded one or two weeks later.

The bridge that links Russell, Ky., to Ironton will cross the Ohio River from U.S. Route 23 on the Kentucky side and curve left onto Second Street and end halfway between Jefferson and Adams streets.

The $250,000 sought by the TID will go into the construction budget.

Next on the list is riverfront segment of the intermodal transfer project at The Point industrial park at South Point. An additional $250,000 is sought from ODOT to go towards construction and inspection.

The TID chose that “because of its economic development impact in the county,” Cade said. “It’s another stage for the county to create jobs.”

The other two projects with the TID support are the replacement of bridge at County Road 22 or Little Storms Street where $100,000 is sought; and the land acquisition for the second phase of the Chesapeake Bypass where $250,000 is sought.

Right now there are 14 TIDs seeking part of the allocation budget.

“It is a competitive-based funding process where all TIDs have to vie for the same pot of money,” Cade said. “It could be that one TID gets all the money.”

Deadline for the applications is Sept. 1 with ODOT expected to make a decision in October.