PDT Staff Writer
Motorists traveling near Ashland and Ironton should expect traffic this weekend as work takes place to repair and reopen the damaged 12th Street Bridge. Contractors began mobilizing equipment to replace a steel beam on the bridge’s Ohio approach span on Friday. At 6 p.m. According to Allen Blair of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Department of Highways District 9, the work will continue through early Monday, Aug. 12.
Blair said, in order to protect motorists, all traffic on U.S. 52 in Ohio beneath the bridge will be diverted during construction. And, train flagmen will direct traffic on the Norfolk Southern railroad. Contractors and local law enforcement will be on hand to direct highway traffic along the following detour - All eastbound U.S. 52 through traffic – that is, motorists traveling from Ironton toward South Point – will be directed to take the Ashland bridge exit ramp near Coal Grove, proceed up the ramp, past the Ashland bridge turns, and use the facing on the ramp to re-enter U.S. 52 east of the work site. All Ashland-bound traffic using the converted 13th Street bridge will continue using the same exit ramps to reach their destinations. Westbound U.S. 52 motorists approaching from South Point toward Ironton will be unaffected, but should watch for congested traffic near the bridges.
Blair said, due to traffic volumes and restricted travel lanes leading to the Ashland bridges, motorists should expect significant delays. He said if possible, motorists should seek alternate routes during construction.
The 12th Street bridge will reopen after work is complete and as soon as the structure is deemed safe to cross by transportation inspectors. If the weather permits and there are no unforeseen complications, the reopening could occur as early as Monday, Aug. 12.
The 12th Street bridge, which carries traffic across the river between U.S. 52 at Coal Grove and U.S. 23 in downtown Ashland, was damaged in late May when a truck crashed into the Ohio approach span – bending and twisting a steel support. Since then, a repair contract was fast-tracked by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and contractors have been fabricating replacement steel and scheduling the repair.
To keep the public up to date with what happened and with repair plans, the Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 has established a web page with detailed traffic maps, a traffic cam link, current bridge status, a project timeline and other information. The public may access the web page at Transportation.ky.gov/District-9/Pages/Ashland-Bridges.aspx, or at Transportation.ky.gov/District-9 by clicking “Ashland Bridges.” In addition, motorists may follow District 9 on Facebook at Facebook.com/KYTCDistrict9 or Twitter at Twitter.com/KYTCDistrict9 for updated Ashland bridges information as well as traffic and state highway project information across northeast Kentucky.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.