Ohio Department of Transportation    News Release
District 9  Vaughn Wilson, P.E., Deputy Director
650 Eastern Avenue • Chillicothe, Ohio 45601
IRBR: Ceremony Kicks Off Ironton-Russell Bridge Replacement
Chillicothe (Thursday, May 3, 2012) – After much anticipation, the Ohio Department of Transportation has started construction of the long-awaited Ironton-Russell Bridge replacement, and today state and local officials from both sides of the Ohio River joined the communities of Ironton, Ohio, and Russell, Kentucky, to celebrate its start.
“Transportation is the lifeblood of our economy, and it is essential that we make investments in a system that will only make us stronger,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “So while the Ironton-Russell Bridge has served the communities well for the past 90 years, it’s time to replace it with a modern, updated structure to carry goods and people over the great Ohio River.”
The Ironton-Russell Bridge replacement project calls for replacing the existing bridge that connects the two communities via their downtown by relocating it between Second and Jefferson streets in downtown Ironton and the U.S. 23 viaduct south of Russell. The project also includes demolition of the existing bridge upon completion of the new structure.
Representatives and officials from Ohio and Kentucky, including Ohio Governor John R. Kasich and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, joined ODOT Director Wray, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock, Mayor Rich Blankenship of Ironton and Mayor William Hopkins of Russell at Ironton’s Depot Square for a ceremonial groundbreaking to commemorate the project’s start and pay tribute to the existing bridge.

As the bridge serves as a vital link between the two communities, the project is very important, not only for the department but also for the people of Ironton and Russell, and it culminates years of hard work, patience and diligence.
While today’s ceremonial groundbreaking marked the start of the multi-year project, construction began in early March, with contractors clearing the banks of both state shores, drilling shafts for the Kentucky abutment and laying foundations for piers in Ohio. The project has a four-year window for total completion, with an interim completion in the fall of 2015.
ODOT awarded a contract in January to Brayman Construction Corporation in the amount of $81,266,742.05, approximately four percent below the state’s final estimate of $84,555,000. Not only is the Ironton-Russell Bridge replacement project the largest project ever to be awarded in Lawrence County, it is ODOT’s single largest construction project to begin this year.
Brayman Construction is headquartered in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania.

For more information, please contact:
Kathleen Fuller, Public Information Officer
1-740-774-8834 (direct line or outside Ohio)
1-888-819-8501, ext. 7748834 (toll free in Ohio)