Traffic remains rerouted to 13th Street bridge
FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. (June 13, 2013) — The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has advertised for bids to replace a damaged steel beam on Ashland’s now-closed 12th Street bridge and reopen the Ohio River crossing.
Bids will be opened Friday, June 14. Once a contractor is chosen, repair work will be fast-tracked with a goal of completing the project by July 31.
The 12th Street bridge, which carries traffic across the river between US 52 at Coal Grove and US 23 in downtown Ashland, was damaged last month by a vehicle impact on its Ohio approach span.
The damage led engineers to close the bridge on May 20 to ensure its structural integrity and the safety of motorists. By the following Tuesday, highway crews had converted the adjacent 13th Street bridge from one-way to two-way traffic to reconnect the towns and eliminate lengthy detours.
The Transportation Cabinet quickly established the 12th Street bridge’s repair as a priority project, and structural design engineers began drawing up plans to fix the damaged steel beam. Those plans were finalized this week, and the project was advertised.
All 12th Street bridge traffic will remain rerouted using the converted 13th Street bridge, which now has one lane for Ohio to Kentucky travelers and two lanes from Kentucky to Ohio:
♦ Traffic on US 52 in Ohio can take the Ashland exit, turn right onto the 13th Street bridge and follow cone-marked lanes to US 23-Winchester Avenue where all traffic must turn right. Northbound US 23 vehicles can continue straight, and southbound US 23 traffic can take the truck detour using Greenup Avenue.
♦ Southbound traffic on US 23-Winchester Avenue is restricted to one left-turn lane onto the 13th Street bridge. (The dedicated left-turn lane has been eliminated to give incoming traffic more room.) Two lanes carry traffic across the bridge to access US 52 toward either Ironton or South Point.
♦ Northbound US 23-Winchester Avenue traffic can turn right onto the 13th Street bridge as normal. And, 13th Street traffic can proceed along normal routes.
Traffic engineers have adjusted traffic signal timings where possible to enhance traffic flow. However, with one bridge handling the traffic of two bridges, motorists should expect delays and backups. Traffic traveling through Ashland to reach I-64 or US 23 may consider using:
♦ The 17th Street bridge from Chesapeake to West Huntington to I-64 to reach US 23 at Catlettsburg
♦ The Greenup Locks and Dam bridge to US 23 and the Industrial Parkway to reach I-64 just west of Grayson
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 timeline and other information.