Simeon Willis Memorial Bridge

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Simeon Willis Memorial Bridge
Ben Williamson Memorial Bridge and Simeon Willis Memorial Bridge.jpg
Coordinates38°29′02″N 082°38′25″W / 38.48389°N 82.64028°W / 38.48389; -82.64028 (Simeon Willis Memorial Bridge)Coordinates: 38°29′02″N 082°38′25″W / 38.48389°N 82.64028°W / 38.48389; -82.64028 (Simeon Willis Memorial Bridge)
Carries3 lanes of Northbound Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (13th Street)
CrossesOhio River
LocaleCoal Grove, Ohio and Ashland, Kentucky
Maintained byKentucky Transportation Cabinet
Characteristics
DesignCantilever bridge
History
Opened1985

Simeon Willis Memorial Bridge is a bridge constructed in 1985 over the Ohio River connecting Winchester Ave. (US 23) and 13th St. (US 60) at Ashland, Kentucky to US 52 at Coal Grove, Ohio. It is named for Kentucky Governor Simeon S. Willis. The bridge was planned, at one point, to cross at 45th St. and connect to a proposed Ashland bypass. The Willis bridge, however, was built one block from the existing Ben Williamson Memorial Bridge and generally carries only northbound (Ohio-bound) traffic. Southbound traffic (toward Kentucky), which is normally carried on the Williamson Bridge, has been diverted to the Willis bridge four times since it's opening in 1985. In 1989, 2007 and 2018, the Williamson bridge was closed for renovations and painting with traffic diverted to the Willis Bridge. The Williamson bridge was also closed briefly and traffic again diverted to the Willis Bridge in the summer of 2013 after a tractor-trailer ran into the tower on the Ohio side, causing structural damage to the bridge.

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