Bridge closing for three days

Published 7:55 am Wednesday, December 6, 2017

ODOT to inspect structure

The Oakley C. Collins Memorial Bridge that connects Ironton to Kentucky will be closed next week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The bridge will be closed from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. so inspectors from the Ohio Department of Transportation can inspect the bridge.

“I know people think ‘Oh, the bridge is only a year old.’ Well, it doesn’t matter how old the bridge is, every bridge we maintain in the state of Ohio is inspected every year,” said Kathleen Fuller, the spokesperson for ODOT District 9. ODOT is doing an inspection of the U.S. Grant Bridge in Portsmouth this week and the equipment will be moved to Ironton next week for the inspection by bridge specialists from the Office of Structural Engineering. “It’s just a routine inspection.”

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Fuller said the bridge will be closed because of the size of the “snooper” used during the inspection. A snooper is an Aspen bucket truck that the inspectors use to look the whole bridge over.

“Because of the size of the equipment and what the crews have to do, it requires the bridge to be closed,” Fuller said. “The snooper is a large piece of equipment, it allows them to going up into the towers and cables. It allows them to look over and under the bridge so they can look at everything. It makes it so they can look at parts of the bridge they couldn’t get to otherwise.”

The snooper allows the crew of two to get up to 60 feet under the bridge. Fuller said there would also be people physically inspecting the towers and different areas they can reach.

“So for everyone’s safety, we close the bridge,” Fuller said.

Motorists will be detoured via the Ashland, Kentucky twin bridges during the closure of the Oakley C. Collins Memorial Bridge.

Fuller said that if the weather is good and the crew gets all the inspections done, the bridge may be open on Thursday.

“They always allow an extra day, because the equipment moves district to district,” she said.

She said the Oakley C. Collins Bridge will be scheduled to be inspected every December.