Repairs to damaged bridge near completion

By Wayne Allen

July 27, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

Officials with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet reported on Friday afternoon that the repairs to Ashland’s 12th street bridge are nearing completion and is expected to be finished the weekend of Aug. 9-12.

The bridge was damaged when it was struck by an unknown vehicle on the Ohio approach of the bridge. The bridge carries traffic one way across the Ohio River from Ohio to Kentucky, linking U.S. routes 52 and 23.

Transportation Cabinet officials targeted a repair completion date of July 31.

“However, work is being restricted to weekends to reduce traffic impacts. And, after coordinating schedules and safety plans with both Norfolk Southern Railroad and the two state transportation departments, Aug. 9-12 is the contractor’s first available opportunity to make physical repairs on the bridge,” Allen Blair, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman said in a released statement.

The contractor has also had to work with a number of agencies in Kentucky and Ohio to make the necessary repairs.

“These last two months, the Tri-State area has been severely inconvenienced by a vehicle accident and the subsequent traffic issues it has caused,” said Bart Bryant, Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 Chief Engineer in a released statement. “We appreciate the public’s continued patience as engineers and contractors move closer to reopening the bridge.”

As a result of closing the bridge, KTC officials temporarily converted Ashland’s 13th Street Bridge to two-way traffic while repairs are being made .

The KTC is advising motorists that traffic on U.S. 52 in Ohio will take the Ashland exit pass the closed 12th Street bridge, and turn right onto the 13th Street bridge. Cones will mark the lane to US 23-Winchester Avenue where all traffic must turn right. Northbound U.S. 23 vehicles may continue straight and southbound U.S. 23 traffic can take the truck detour using Greenup Avenue.

Southbound traffic on U.S. 23-Winchester Avenue will be restricted to one left-turn lane where they can turn left onto the 13th Street bridge (the dedicated left-turn lane has been eliminated to give incoming traffic more room to maneuver). Two lanes will then carry traffic across the bridge to access U.S. 52 toward either Ironton or South Point.

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 during repairs, the reopening could occur as early as Monday, Aug. 12.

According to Blair, to keep the public up to date with repair plans, the Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 has established a web page with detailed traffic maps, current bridge status, a project time line 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.”

For more information about the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 9 visit, transportation.ky.gov/district-9/Pages/default.aspx.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.