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Inspections to be done on I-R bridge

There may be some delays this week on the Ironton-Russell Bridge as it undergos a series of routine inspections as part of the state’s bridge inspection program.

Beginning tomorrow and continuing through Nov. 14, Richland Engineering Limited, a firm specializing in bridge design, engineering, consulting and inspecting, will conduct inspections that include testing and examining pins and gusset plates on the bridge. Contractors from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will supervise, although they do their own bridge inspections at a different time.

The bridge has a strain gage monitoring system in place by ODOT that monitors stresses and strains that may appear on the bridge or in its structure. The University of Cincinnati Infrastructure Institute works with ODOT and uses this system as a learning tool for its engineering students.

“There have not been any issues since the system has been in place,” Kathleen Fuller, ODOT Public Information Officer of District 9, said.

When crews are working on the bridge, it will be down to one lane.

“There will be a flagger directing traffic when only one lane is open,” Fuller said. “During the second week, beginning Nov. 10, it will be open as normal to two-way traffic with no restrictions.”

There may be some periods of delay with the lane restrictions, so motorists are advised to exercise additional caution when traveling through the work zone.