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Weather closes Ironton bridge

Ironton-Russell Bridge will be shut down at 10 p.m. tonight because of the frigid temperatures expected overnight.

The closure was made by Ohio Department of Transportation District 9 as a precautionary measure.

“The bridge is still safe but it is typical of any steel that in very cold temperatures steel becomes brittle,” Kathleen Fuller, public information officer for District 9, said. “If the bridge were to be struck, the critical members like the pins could suffer a fracture or fatigue. We don’t want to take that chance.”

If there is no incident with the bridge being struck, the bridge will be all right, Fuller said.

Weather reports are predicting a temperature of minus 4 with a wind chill of minus 22.

The bridge will stay closed until ODOT inspectors check out the structure to determine there has been no damage. Inspectors will review the bridge on site as well as check the computer monitoring system on the structure.

Temperature must be 5 above zero.

“We know the temperature is going up Wednesday,” Fuller said. “When we see the temperature going up, it won’t be a problem.”