Construction projects affect Ashland bridge, US 52 exit

August 6, 2018

ASHLAND - Two million-dollar projects in the Ashland and South Point, Ohio, areas will cause traffic delays in the coming weeks and months as the 12th Street bridge will be closed for major repairs and the Solida Road exit off U.S. 52 undergoes construction.

Preventative maintenance for the green span, officially named the Ben Williamson Memorial Bridge, which carries some 14,000 cars a day from Ohio to Kentucky, is scheduled to begin after Labor Day, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

The $988,948 project requires the closure of the two-lane bridge from Coal Grove, Ohio, to downtown Ashland through Nov. 15.

Engineers recently analyzed the bridge’s concrete pavement and determined that new deck joints and a concrete overlay would be necessary to safeguard the bridge’s ability to handle its traffic load, according to a news release.

“This project will provide new connecting joints, a new driving surface and other repairs to ensure its longevity,” said Bart Bryant, chief district engineer of the Kentucky Department of Highways District 9, in the release. “And, it’s our goal to get that work done safely and quickly as possible.”

Closing the bridge is the safest option for both motorists and contractors, as the structure is too narrow to work in one lane while traffic is flowing in the other lane - and it shortens the repair time, according to the release.

Kentucky highway engineers will work with contractors to reconfigure the adjacent 13th Street bridge to accommodate two-way traffic during construction.

The 1930s-era bridge connects U.S. 52 in Ohio to US. 60 in downtown Ashland. It was refurbished in the 1980s, and since then has seen several painting and maintenance projects.

The Transportation Cabinet awarded the bridge repair project to DeLong Concrete LLC of Lexington.

A few miles away on U.S. 52, the Solida Road off-ramp will be closed at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, as part of a roundabout project, according to the Lawrence County Engineers Office.

The eastbound off-ramp of U.S. 52 will be closed daily for work scheduled through Dec. 31, according to a news release.

Motorists will be detoured via either C.R. 120 (Macedonia Road) or C.R. 450 (Grandview Avenue) and C.R. 1 (Old U.S. 52). The westbound interchange ramps will remain open to motorists traveling north on Solida Road.

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