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Traffic changes start Monday for viaduct bridge replacement

82-year-old bridge is being replaced with “flyover” design

RUSSELL, Ky. — Beginning Monday, drivers crossing the Oakley C. Collins Bridge will see some changes in roads because of the replacement of the viaduct bridge and the road that goes into Russell, Kentucky.

During construction, access into Russell along the existing viaduct will be maintained — a key need for emergency and commercial vehicles.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is investing $20 million to replace the 82-year-old and deficient, viaduct bridge, improving safety and daily traffic flow with a new “flyover” bridge. The project is expected to last this year and into summer 2021.

Access to Kentucky 750 at the intersection with U.S. 23 will be close and traffic will be detoured to Kentucky 207 and Diedrich Boulevard until the project is completed.

Starting in June, there will be rolling road blocks, lane closures and other restrictions along U.S. 23, Kentucky 244 and the Oakley C. Collins Bridge.

The work will include hillside excavation south of U.S. 23 at Kentucky 750, utility relocations, and concrete work for bridge piers and other components.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will announce construction schedules and traffic restrictions during the project. There are signs and electronic message boards on both the Ohio side and the Kentucky side in the area of the project that will be used to communicate traffic changes.

Motorists are advised to use caution, watch for construction vehicle traffic and should be prepared for reduced speed limits throughout the Kentucky 244 Russell viaduct replacement project, which will continue through this year and next.

The “flyover” design was chosen because it not only replaces the old, deteriorating bridge, but also improves area traffic flow by removing Kentucky 244 from the now-congested intersection of U.S. 23 and the Ironton-Russell bridge.

Both intersections on U.S. 23 – the Ironton-Russell bridge and the new Kentucky 244 – will be T-shaped intersections that handle traffic flow more efficiently with less delays.

The chosen alternative includes a new Kentucky 244 approach at Kenwood Drive north of the existing Kentucky 244-U.S. 23 intersection at the Ironton-Russell bridge.

This new Kentucky 244 will loop westward along part of Kentucky 750 then back to a new flyover bridge across U.S. 23, railroad tracks, and the existing viaduct on the river side to touch down where the old bridge connects to Bellefonte Street in downtown Russell, Kentucky.

To learn more about the Kentucky 244 project, view flyover diagrams and get project updates, link to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 9’s “Russell Viaduct Project” at https://transportation.ky.gov/DistrictNine or bookmark the web page at https://transportation.ky.gov/DistrictNine/Pages/RussellViaduct.aspx.