Transportation Cabinet closing 12th Street bridge at Ashland
Safety measure due to structural damage
FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. (May 23, 2013) – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has closed the 12th Street bridge (Ben Williamson Memorial Bridge) at Ashland as a safety measure after the structure suffered crash damage.
The bridge carries traffic one way across the Ohio River from Ohio to Kentucky, linking US 52 and US 23.
Engineers inspected steel beam damage on the bridge’s Ohio approach span Tuesday, then imposed a 10-ton weight limit. Since then, engineers have been monitoring traffic and performing further analysis of the damage.
At this time, with continued heavy traffic, keeping the bridge open poses too great a risk to the structure’s stability and the safety of traffic.
Highway crews have placed barricades at the bridge and will set up appropriate signage and detours throughout the day. Engineers continue to assess repair plans, and are investigating options to alleviate the traffic disruption of closing the bridge.
“Right now, our priority is the safety of motorists,” said Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 Chief Engineer Bart Bryant. “While we understand the inconvenience this bridge closure will cause, it is the right thing to do in terms of protecting the traveling public.”
Traffic may detour using these routes to reach Ashland:
- From Portsmouth, Ohio, east on US 52, cross the Jesse Stuart Memorial Bridge at Greenup, Ky., to US 23 south.
- From Chesapeake, Ohio, west on US 52, cross the Nick Joe Rahall II bridge at Huntington, W.Va., to I-64 west to US 23 north.