3 votes

Gratz Bridge



Photo taken by James McCray


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BH Photo #113779

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Lost through truss bridge over Kentucky River on KY 22 in Gratz
Henry County, Kentucky, and Owen County, Kentucky
Demolished and replaced.
Built 1931; Replaced 2011
Parker through truss
Length of largest span: 274.9 ft.
Total length: 1,103.7 ft.
Deck width: 19.7 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 15.1 ft.
Also called
Kentucky River KY 22 Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.47250, -84.95556   (decimal degrees)
38°28'21" N, 84°57'20" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/678347/4260222 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2009)
Inventory numbers
KY 052-B00015N (Kentucky bridge number)
BH 18818 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of October 2009)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 40.5 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • February 18, 2011: New photos from Nathan Holth
  • February 15, 2011: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge has been demolished and replaced.
  • February 3, 2011: Updated by Nathan Holth: Updated planned demolition date.
  • January 16, 2011: New photos from Bill Eichelberger
  • October 7, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge is now doomed.
  • March 13, 2010: Updated by Bill Eichelberger: Added Google Street View.
  • March 12, 2010: New photos from Bill Eichelberger
  • April 19, 2008: New photos from James McCray


  • James McCray - jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Bill Eichelberger
  • Nathan Holth


Gratz Bridge
Posted May 23, 2018, by Brian Lockett (catbus420 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I saw a "murder show" on ID-channel that involved the Gratz Bridge. It was in a series about trying miscarriages of justice.

It was about a lady in Shelbyville who spent a few years in jail after being convicted of killing her boyfriend, which was terribly stupid of the courts. She was little, they said under 100-lbs and only had one leg due to an old car accident. I don't know how a jury could have possibly thought that the little lady would be able to kill the guy, let alone tying him to concrete blocks and throwing him off of the Gratz bridge. Luckily, a guy in Louisville wound up confessing out of the blue and she was freed.

The show had the bridge in a few scenes but they were the wrong bridge. It wasn't some generic stock footage of a bridge. It may very well have been the "Gratz bridge" but the murder happened around 1998, so he would have gotten tossed off of the old cool bridge.

Gratz Bridge
Posted March 5, 2011, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Yes Matthew........Nightmare is the key word here.

It would be great if it were like an erector set and you could just disconnect it in the center and add the needed pieces to obtain the desired width..... but it is SO much more than that!

Gratz Bridge
Posted March 5, 2011, by Matthew Lohry

I've commented on this idea of widening truss bridges before, but I'm against it for several reasons: First, it's an engineering and construction nightmare and goes far beyond simply hauling in steel and welding it to the existing bridge--the flooring system and the overhead sway/portal bracing system would have to be either heavily modified or completely replaced, rendering the historic integrity of the original structure as moot. Additionally, widening a truss bridge is difficult to do from an aesthetics standpoint, as widening tends to make an originally narrow bridge look "fake", meaning that anyone with minimal knowledge of truss bridges can tell that it was modified just by looking at it. Third, the cost to perform these types of modifications is usually astronomical, and is rarely worth doing, since the historic value gets lost in the process. I say that the original structure should be preserved as is, and converted either to single-direction traffic, or if it's too narrow for that, be converted to a pedestrian/bicycle crossing. That's really the only way to maintain historic and aesthetic integrity with these structure types.

Gratz Bridge
Posted March 4, 2011, by Brad Lain

What was someone thinking when they decidecd to "Tear Down this big Bridge! why not preserve it and widen it by widening it by hauling more steel and then building a temporary bridge beside it and then welding the hauled in steel to the bridge then re-opening the bridge for traffic again, i feel like the Bridge should be brought back where it was at and then re-opened for traffic use

Gratz Bridge
Posted March 4, 2011, by Anonymous

But don't replace the Bridge with one of those eyesore concrete Bridges where no one can see the creek / river when they look upstream or downstream

Gratz Bridge
Posted February 3, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Sorry, should have been more clear... the Feb 14th date refers to the implosion of the main span truss.

Gratz Bridge
Posted February 3, 2011, by Bill Eichelberger (wallyum [at] hotmail [dot] com)

They've been doing it for quite some time already. I guess this means that it will be completely gone by this date.

Gratz Bridge
Posted February 3, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

No love in Kentucky on Valentines Day... demolition slated for the 14th.

Gratz Bridge
Posted January 16, 2011, by Bill Eichelberger (wallyum [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I had the chance to get out to see the progress made on the demolition of the Gratz Bridge today. I was hoping that the weather may have slowed things down, but from the looks of things it's made no difference at all. The bridge is barely a shell now, with much of the structure gone and a large portion of the roadway. I ventured out to get what pictures I could, snaking my way around a piece of construction equipment that was blocking access to the bridge. As I was coming back I noticed someone walking toward me as I neared my car. I thought it might be a security person, but it was a local who'd seen me head out on the bridge and wanted to tell me a few things about it. Things like this are the best part of bridging. He was born the day before the bridge opened, and his family had run the ferry that previously served the Gratz crossing. We talked until we both became too cold to continue. Sorry to see the bridge in the shape it was in, but I did enjoy meeting someone with some history to share.

Gratz Bridge
Posted January 10, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Yes... reminds me of a presentation I gave called "Why Not In Pennsylvania." I am still trying to figure out what makes Pennsylvania so unique that they can't preserve truss bridges and Indiana and New Jersey can. The only difference I can find is that Pennsylvania is a "Commonwealth" state which is something it shares with demolition-happy Kentucky. Coincidence?

Gratz Bridge
Posted January 7, 2011, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

.......But then again, if you look at what can be done with these marvelous structures


It kinda makes you scratch your head and wonder......"Why not this one"...........

Gratz Bridge
Posted January 7, 2011, by Chuck (cat_fan_ky [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I know people, good people, look to the past and think the present may be lacking. However, I have been on this bridge, and for me it is a form of artistic and engineering genius. The way it was made and put together is astounding. However, it does need to finally do what we all do at some point; simply sleep...

Kentucky River KY 22 Bridge
Posted March 12, 2010, by Bill Eichelberger (wallyum [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Still around as of 3/12/10, but construction of the new bridge is coming along quite quickly. Any chance that the old bridge remains standing?

Kentucky River KY 22 Bridge
Posted February 11, 2010, by Brian (catbus420 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Saw in "Henry County Local" sometime in the last year that this was being replaced.

I went on it fall 2009 and it was still there then. Unsure of when replacement will be completed.