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Ashland bridge to open today

ASHLAND — It’s good news for people driving in or out of downtown Ashland, Kentucky — the work on the city’s green bridge is coming to an end and it could be re-opened for traffic by Friday evening or Saturday, if the weather is bad.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet made the announcement that the $1 million preventive maintenance project now complete, contractors plan to reopen Ashland’s 12th Street bridge on Friday — about two weeks ahead of schedule.

The 1930s-era steel bridge, officially named the Ben Williamson Memorial Bridge, carries traffic across the Ohio River from U.S. 52 in Ohio to U.S. 23 and U.S. 60 in downtown Ashland, Kentucky.

The bridge closed on Sept. 8 so contractors could install new deck joints and overlay the pavement with a new concrete surface to prevent deterioration of the roadway – a project designed to safeguard the bridge’s future for the 14,000 vehicles a day that rely on it.

Since work began, all traffic to and from Ohio has been sharing the adjacent 13th Street bridge, which was converted to handle two-way traffic.

On Friday — if weather permits — or on Saturday, if necessary, contractors will change traffic control and switch all Kentucky-bound traffic back to the 12th Street bridge. Then, the 13th Street bridge will be restriped to handle only one-way, Ohio-bound traffic again.

The traffic switch will take place between the morning and evening rush hours and will take several hours to complete.

Motorists are advised to travel with caution and expect delays during the process.

In June, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet awarded a $988,948 contract to Delong Concrete LLC of Lexington to complete the preventive maintenance project by Nov. 15.