OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
IRONTON – RUSSELL CABLE STAYED BRIDGE
CROSSING THE OHIO RIVER
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) commissioned a cable stayed bridge over the Ohio River, to connect Ironton, Ohio with Russell, Kentucky. Construction of this began in March 2012, with the bridge opening to traffic in November 2016. West End Electric Company, Inc. was awarded the electrical contract for this unique and beautiful structure. The 2-lane bridge is 1,640 feet long, 32 feet wide, and is supported from two concrete towers that extend 250 feet above the bridge roadway.
In addition to the decorative lighting across the bridge and approach ramps, the bridge has LED aesthetic lighting for each stay cable and the two concrete support towers, as well as aviation and navigation lighting. Inside of the two towers are rooms with Electrical Distribution System and Bridge Health Monitoring equipment. The towers are open inside with ladders to access the top of the towers. This allows inspectors to maintain and adjust each stay cable as well as routine inspections of the concrete towers.
Route 23 in Kentucky was reconfigured and new traffic signalization was installed to better access the new bridge. At the Ironton end of the bridge, several intersections and streets were widened and new decorative street lighting installed, as well as new traffic signalization at two intersections.
Cameras have been installed on the new bridge to provide real time video access of traffic conditions. In addition, cameras have been installed below the bridge deck, and aimed at the locations of Peregrine Falcon nests, enabling wildlife experts to monitor the status and nesting habits of this threatened species.
Due to the presence of protected species of Mussel, Bats and Falcons this project had some unusual wildlife restrictions. These restrictions impacted work schedules and working conditions for the various construction trades.
Avoidance and minimization techniques were employed to reduce the likelihood of impacting the protected species. For instance nests were relocated, schedules were adjusted to accommodate migration habits, and no force or deterrents could be used against the falcons, which are known to demonstrate aggressive behavior during migration and nesting seasons.