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Eggners Ferry Bridge Collapse

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State crews prepping Eggners Ferry Bridge for arrival of contractor
Replacing railing, patching deck in advance of construction crew (January 27, 2012)

EggnersAURORA, Ky. (April 2, 2012) Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews are performing maintenance work on the remaining spans of the U.S. 68/KY 80 Eggners Ferry Bridge.  The work includes railing replacement and repairs, as well as deck patching.

KYTC District 1 Chief Engineer Jim LeFevre said state crews are attempting to get routine maintenance work completed before the arrival of a contractor who will build a new span to replace a 322-foot section knocked out by a cargo vessel, the Delta Mariner, on Jan. 26.

Our District 1 Bridge Crew has been working to make spot repairs to the bridge decking before the contractor arrives.  We have a guardrail contractor starting work today to replace and repair several sections of tube railing along the bridge deck, LeFevre said.

Our goal is to reduce the need for lane restrictions on the bridge once it reopens to traffic.

EggnersHall Contracting of Kentucky Inc. was awarded a $7 million contract to replace the span. The contract requires the Louisville-based company to have the bridge ready to reopen to traffic before Memorial Day, which is May 28.

LeFevre said an inspection of the bridge following the Delta Mariner incident identified a number of routine maintenance projects that could be completed in April before the contractor arrives.  Once the new span has been built, highway crews will install lighting and allow AT&T to replace a fiber-optic communication cable, which was severed in the crash. That additional work will require lane restrictions.

The work we re doing now will help keep lane restrictions to a minimum, LeFevre said.

The deck patching work is primarily on the remaining truss spans and along the approach spans on the Trigg County end of the bridge.  LeFevre expects most of the ongoing maintenance work to be completed in about a week.  

Engineers are currently finalizing the plans required for fabrication of steel for the new span.  Hall Contracting plans to run a crew of about 40 around the clock to meet a May 27 deadline.

About 2,600 vehicles normally crossed the Eggners Ferry Bridge in an average day.  The bridge is a critical link for tourism in Kentucky s 15-county Western Lakes Region.  The bridge serves as the western entrance to Land Between The Lakes National Recreation area, a major regional tourist attraction.

Plans to replace the Eggners Ferry Bridge and a companion bridge over nearby Lake Barkley with a basket-handle tied arch design are still in the pre-construction phase.   The governor s highway proposal as presented to the General Assembly provides a total of $330 million in construction funding for the two bridges.

Photos courtesy Keith Todd

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Photo by Murray Blake

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