ODOT monitoring Ironton-Russell Bridge traffic

Published 4:20 pm Friday, May 24, 2013

With the closing of the Ben Williamson Bridge into Ashland, Ky., Ohio Department of Transportation officials are monitoring the increased traffic flow crossing the Ironton-Russell Bridge to make sure already imposed restrictions are being enforced.

“We definitely want to make sure we are not having restricted vehicles on that bridge,” said Kathleen Fuller, public information officer for ODOT District 9. “Patrols are being stepped up and monitoring that. We have had weight restrictions on that bridge for 20 years or more.”

Thursday morning Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials shut down the Williamson Bridge that moves traffic from U.S. 52 in Ohio to U.S. 23. That sent an increased number of vehicles across the Ironton bridge all day. A large portion of those were motorists traveling through the area to get to Kentucky highways.

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“There is a message board and signage for people traveling through the area using U.S. 52 to get to U.S. 23,” Fuller said. “They are being detoured in Scioto County. People traveling eastbound can cross at the Greenup Dam.”

A strain gauge monitoring system remains in place on the Ironton bridge.

“It is being monitored as it has been for years,” Fuller said. “Any additional stresses, it sends an alert to a variety of people. That will notify our Lawrence County garage if they need to take any action.”

As the detours were set in place Friday, there was a decline in the number of vehicles crossing the Ironton bridge.

“The bridge traffic has diminished a little bit,” Fuller said. “The holiday weekend will bring in higher than normal amounts. Our main concern is that any restricted vehicles continue to obey those restrictions.”