Bridging the Past needs supporters

Published 11:51 am Thursday, August 25, 2016

Bridging the Past, the Ohio nonprofit corporation working to save the Ironton-Russell Bridge, has been granted 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status by the IRS.

Supporters who want to help save the bridge may now make donations, which are tax deductible. Bridging the Past now plans to begin working to raise money in support of a project to convert the bridge to a pedestrian bridge.

Our vision is to create a linear park much like the Purple People Bridge in Cincinnati or the Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga. We believe in this project and are working with the city of Ironton and other interested groups to make this vision a reality.

Email newsletter signup

In May, the bridge was named one of Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic sites by Preservation Ohio. This further demonstrates the historical significance of this structure and the need to preserve our history for future generations. Also, in May, the Ironton City Council sent a resolution to Gov. Kasich asking him to save the bridge.

When Ironton businessmen built this bridge (completed 1922), no one would have believed a town of Ironton’s size could accomplish such a monumental task. It was done with private money raised in one month and completed in less than one year. The bridge was the only river crossing between Cincinnati and Parkersburg, West Virginia. Those visionary men opened a “gateway to the Southlands” and impacted cities across the country. Their belief in the art of the possible impacted generations that followed.

In the coming weeks, Bridging the Past will announce ways that supporters can donate or participate in events to raise money for the bridge. We are looking for volunteers who want to work with us to make Ironton a more bike and pedestrian friendly city.

Contact us on Facebook at Follow us on Twitter @IRBridge or check out the Bridging the Past Blog at


Elle Dew, executive director

Bridging the Past