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Bridge to be closed

Three days of inspections starting Oct. 21

In two weeks, drivers will have to find an alternate route in and out of Ironton, as the Ohio Department of Transportation will be doing its annual inspections of the Oakley C. Collins Bridge.

Starting Monday, Oct. 21 and running through Wednesday, Oct. 23, the bridge will be closed to traffic, weather permitting, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. as crews from ODOT’s bridge department will deploy its snooper truck to perform physical inspections of the bridge’s cables, towers and deck.

The bridge will be open to evening and overnight travel, but during periods of closure, motorists will be detoured by way of U.S. Route 52 and the Ashland’s 12th and 13th Street bridges at Coal Grove.

The bridge closure is due of the size of the “snooper” truck used during the inspection. A snooper is an Aspen bucket truck that the inspectors use to look the whole bridge over.

The snooper allows a crew of two to get up to sixty feet under the bridge. There will also be people physically inspecting the towers and other areas they can reach.

The annual inspections are part of the state’s annual bridge inspection, maintenance and research program for all bridges maintained by ODOT. While the federal requirement is to inspect bridges every two years, ODOT inspects its bridges annually, thereby enabling the department to address and correct any minor issues before they turn into major ones.