UPDATE: U.S. 23 in Russell, Ky. Opens after Undetonated Explosives Found

By: WSAZ News Staff, Rebekah Pewitt Email
By: WSAZ News Staff, Rebekah Pewitt Email

UPDATE 4/15/14 @ 6:15 p.m.
RUSSELL, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Nearly a decade old set of explosives were found alongside U.S. 23 by construction workers in Russell.

A portion of U.S. 23 between Ashland Drive and Kenwood Drive was shut down for about two and a half hours while law enforcement officials checked out the explosives.

Multiple streets had traffic delays during the closure. Firefighters from Flatwoods were even brought in to help direct traffic away from the area.

Russell Police say construction workers of the Ironton-Russell bridge saw the white bags of explosives wedged in between the rock wall in the hillside across from the highway.

"Workers were required to cross the road and set some type of a pole; when they did, they saw these commercial explosives hanging out of the rock wall," Russell Police Detective Adam Davis said.

Rather than digging them out and running the risk of hurting someone, the state police bomb squad detonated the explosives, causing a boom that was heard and felt miles away.

"I was at lunch, and they were in their meetings. And we heard a big boom, said Taylor Allyn. "It rattled the store a little bit, and usually we hear it rattle when the train goes by, but we didn't hear the train so we knew it was something else."

Davis said the explosives were from a former construction project and could have been about 10 years old.

UPDATE 4/15/14 @ 12:41 p.m.
RUSSELL, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Lanes of US 23 are reopening Monday afternoon, after being shut down due to explosives being found on a hillside.

US 23 was shut down between the 1 and 2 mile marker in Russell about 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Kentucky DOH says old undetonated explosives were found on a hillside rock cut.

They tell WSAZ.com that State Police have detonated the explosives.

They are in the process of reopening the lanes of US 23.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.

ORIGINAL STORY 4/15/14 @ 12:07 p.m.
RUSSELL, Ky. (WSAZ) -- All four lanes of US 23 between mile marker 1 and 2 in Russell, in Greenup County, are closed.

Crews with the Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 say that old undetonated explosives were found on a hillside rock cut.

As a precaution, all traffic is being rerouted away from the area until the explosives experts can respond.

The Russell viaduct is also closed.

Traffic is being detoured using KY 750 (Kenwood Drive), KY 1725 (Ashland Drive) and KY 693 (Diedrich Boulevard).

The road is expected to be shut down until at least 1:30 p.m.

Officials say heavy traffic delays are possible and drivers should make alternative travel plans.

They also suggest using the Ashland bridges to cross to US 52 and return to US 25 via the Greenup Locks and Dam to connect between the Portsmouth and downtown Ashland areas, or using the Industrial Parkway to connect between US 23 and Interstate 64.

We have a crew on the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.

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