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Frigid weather closes southern Ohio bridge

 
Frigid weather closes southern Ohio bridge
Posted January 28th, 2014 @ 10:08am by WTVN Newsroom

IRONTON, Ohio (WTVN) -- It's too cold in Ohio even for a bridge.

The Ohio Dept of Transportation closed the Ironton-Russell Bridge over the Ohio River at 11 pm Monday.

"This bridge was opened to traffic in 1922 and it's a steel bridge. When steel gets terribly cold it becomes brittle or it can become brittle," said ODOT spokesperson Kathleen Fuller.

Once temperatures drop below zero, the bridge is closed. It will re-open once temperatures warm up and inspectors check things over.

"If nothing results from our tests and inspections then we'll re-open it to traffic, but again that temperature has to get to 5 above zero," she said.

Fuller insists that the bridge is safe and this is just a precaution to guard the bridge against potential damage from a crash on the bridge or strike from a barge on the river.

"We couldn't find, through our records, any time that we've closed it due to cold weather," she said.

The Ironton-Russell Bridge is expected to be replaced by the end of 2015 or early 2016.

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