Bridge blasting set for Monday

Published 10:50 pm Friday, May 12, 2017

Street closures announced for event

Blasting is set for Monday morning for the remaining sections of the former Ironton-Russell Bridge.

According to Ohio Department of Transportation public information officer Kathleen Fuller, a 1,000-foot safety zone will be set up around the bridge, with street closing scheduled for 9 a.m.

“It’s scheduled to take place before noon, depending on the weather,” Fuller said. “Right now, the forecast looks good.”

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She said crews from Brayman Construction Corporation, which has been handling the dismantling, and Advantage Blasting and Demolition have been doing prep work, pre-blast surveys and meeting with residents on both the Ohio and Kentucky sides of the river in anticipation for the event.

Fuller said the public will be kept at a distance from the blasting for safety reasons.

“The concern is that the steel is so old, it could break apart and be like shrapnel,” she said.

On the Kentucky side of the river, streets in Russell will be closed from Riverside Drive to Etna Street and from Amanda to Ferry streets.

Ironton Mayor Katrina Keith said that those who want to view the blast can go to the Second Street viaduct.

“We’re going to allow onlookers to come up there, and we want to keep people from going down to the river,” she said.

Keith discussed the plans at Thursday night’s meeting of Ironton City Council, stating the closure area goes from Adams Street to Railroad Street and from the Ohio River to Second Street.

“So if you are outside Second Street, you’re good,” she said.

Keith said the steel spans are going to be wrapped to contain the metal and then imploded.

“I don’t think we are going to have the big effect everyone is anticipating,” she said. “But the Russell side and the Ironton side will be going down at the same time.”

The concrete piers will be taken down at a later date, she said.