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ODOT monitoring bridge

Another blast of arctic air this week could bring sub-zero temperatures to Lawrence County, forcing closure of the Ironton-Russell Bridge.

Current forecasting models are indicating that temperatures Wednesday and Thursday could dip below zero during the overnight hours. As such, staff from the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Lawrence County Highway Maintenance Facility will be monitoring surface and air temperatures at the bridge to determine if it is necessary to close the structure.

Throughout the cold-weather months, ODOT staff monitor the weather for extreme cold and should the temperature at the bridge reach zero degrees and is predicted to continue falling, they will determine if it is necessary to close it to traffic. At a sustained temperature of minus five (-5) degrees Fahrenheit, the bridge will be subject to a full closure.

While the Ironton-Russell Bridge is safe for travel, the bridge’s steel truss structure is not wholly guarded against temperatures sustained below zero degrees. This, in part, is due to its age, construction, current condition and certain fatigue-prone details in which cold weather may have an adverse effect on the bridge’s steel members.

In the event the bridge is closed, motorists will be detoured via U.S. Route 52 and the Ashland, Kentucky, twin bridges at Coal Grove.

For information on additional lane and road closures caused by construction, accidents, flooding or other related traffic events throughout the state, visit ODOT on the web at www.Ohgo.com