For years, folks in Ironton and Russell have been patiently waiting for a new bridge to link their two towns, because the current one is old and outdated.
But now, transportation officials say it will be ten years before it can be replaced, making some in the area wonder if the current bridge will last another decade.
The bridge has a long and important role in the region’s history. In the early 1920’s, crossing a car into Ohio meant driving to Cincinnati or Parkersburg. But the arrival of the Ironton-Russell bridge in 1922 saved drivers hours of travel time.
Now, 85 years later, most agree it’s time has come…and gone.
A battle that began in 2000 was derailed last year because the cost came in 30 million dollars over budget.
Now another setback…the Ohio Department of Transportation says they don’t have a designer for the new bridge yet.
In the meantime, the bridge is scheduled to undergo about a million dollars worth of repairs to make it safer for drivers.