The northbound lane will be closed on Thursday at noon for about four hours.
ODOT will close the southbound lane on Friday just after 8:30 a.m. The closing will be after 8:30 as to not interfere with morning work traffic.
ODOT is closing the lanes so workers can inspect the bridge in conjunction with a $1 million rehabilitation project expected to start in October.
The department wants to extend the life of the bridge while it builds a new bridge. A new bridge is not expected to open for about 10 years, however.
“With the environmental documentation completed, the inspections are necessary for the consultants to finish and submit design plans for the rehab project that we'll be selling in the fall,” ODOT District 9 Deputy Director Jim Brushart said.
Traffic will be maintained in at least one lane during the two-day period.
Motorists should be aware that flaggers will be on duty.
Both lanes are supposed to be open again by 1 p.m. on Friday.
The rehabilitation work will include repairs of the grid deck and strain gage monitoring system, as well as the retrofit of one pin connection and improvement of skid resistance on the bridge.
ODOT wanted to build a cable-stayed bridge going from Jefferson Street to U.S. 23 in Russell for $80 million. But it's lowest bid was $110 million, thereby postponing the project for several years.
ODOT must now redesign the job so it fits into budget.
ODOT District 9 Public Information Officer Kathleen Fuller said the old bridge is still safe to use, but ODOT has lowered its weight limits and would close it if the temperature would reach -5 degrees. That is to keep the bridge's steel from getting too brittle.
ODOT has never had to close the bridge because of the temperature, though.
JEFF BARRON can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.