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Ironton bridge to be closed: Routine weight testing takes place July 16, 17

The Oakley C. Collins Bridge will be having day time closures next month so it can undergo weight limit testing.

“It’s just part of our routine, annual inspection,” said Kathleen Fuller, the spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Transportation District 9, adding that the University of Cincinnati will drive large weighted trucks across the bridge to verify the weight limits and that is why the bridge will be closed to traffic during the day. “They can’t navigate the trucks around other vehicles.”

The testing will be done 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on July 16 and 17, and maybe July 18, if the weather is bad on one of the other two days.

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

Fuller said the tests are done to ensure the Oakley C. Collins Bridge is safe, even though the bridge is new, having been completed in 2016.

“Every bridge we maintain in the state of Ohio is inspected every year,” Fuller said. “Obviously, it is done to ensure safety and we do the load testing to make sure it can maintain its maximum capacity,” she said. “We anticipate that the bridge will pass the test. It’s just routine testing. But if anything does arise, we can be alerted and fix it.”

The same test will be done on the U.S. Grant Bridge in Portsmouth.

Fuller said they try to do the testing every year during the warmer months.

“We have other testing that we do throughout the year,” she said, mentioning that in late fall, crews use a “snooper,” bucket truck to look the whole bridge over as well as the ramps.

For more detailed information about Ohio traffic, download the OHGO app or visit OHGO.com.