Non-colored lights chosen for new bridge

Published 12:12 pm Friday, July 17, 2015

There will be 136 lights twinkling up and down the cables when the Ironton-Russell Bridge opens in 2017. They just won’t be in color.

Despite efforts of local officials to bring a piece of the rainbow to the bridge, that idea got rained out. It would take too much green.

“Vaughn (Wilson, Ohio Department of Transportation deputy director) looked at all the numbers and basically it would be $400,000 to $500,000 additional to do different colored LED lights,” said Kathleen Fuller, public information officer of ODOT District 9. “We can’t see spending the additional price tag.”

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The lights that will be there will be white-yellow, much like an incandescent light bulb.

“It still has aesthetic lighting, just not colored,” Fuller said.

Leading the campaign to have different lighting on the bridge was Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship, who had originally asked the public for its input as far as color.

“They did their analysis of what it would cost and it was out of their budget,” Blankenship said. “I respect their decision. I think we gave it a good try. There was no wiggle room in their budget to make that change order. But we will have a brand new state of the art bridge.”

The bridge replacement is an $83-million project to build a structure with 120 cable stays. Brayman Construction of Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, is in charge of the construction that originally was scheduled for completion in June of 2016. Weather forced a revision of that date to 2017.

Recently the Ohio General Assembly voted to name the bridge for longtime Lawrence County legislator, Sen. Oakley C. Collins.