4 votes

Clark Memorial Bridge


View from a distance

Photo taken by Nathan Morton

BH Photo #103336

Street Views 


Ledbetter Bridge Collapse Analysis


Play video on YouTube


Three-span through truss bridge over Tennessee River on US 60 in Ledbetter
McCracken County, Kentucky, and Livingston County, Kentucky
Demolished and replaced.
Future prospects
Demolished. First of three main spans demolished September 16, 2014.
Built 1931
- Modjeski & Masters of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania (Design)
- Ralph Modjeski of Bochnia, Poland (Design)
Warren through truss
Length of largest span: 400.0 ft.
Total length: 3,035.3 ft. (0.6 mi.)
Deck width: 23.9 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 12.9 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Ledbetter Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.03830, -88.52902   (decimal degrees)
37°02'18" N, 88°31'44" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/364017/4100214 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Paducah East
Average daily traffic (as of 2012)
Inventory numbers
KY 073-B00004N (Kentucky bridge number)
BH 18893 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of January 2013)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • December 19, 2017: New video from Geoffrey Moreland
  • September 16, 2014: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge has been demolished and replaced.
  • August 17, 2013: New photos from Ben Tate
  • August 7, 2013: Updated by Ben Tate: This bridge is closed. The bypass bridge is now open.
  • October 8, 2012: New photos from James McCray
  • January 20, 2012: Updated by Kim Harvey: alternate name, added note of the 3 ton weight limit
  • April 12, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: This historic truss bridge is now doomed.
  • March 14, 2010: Updated by Bill Eichelberger: Added Google Street View.
  • February 26, 2007: Posted photo from Nathan Morton

Related Bridges 


  • Nathan Morton - morton890 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Bill Eichelberger
  • Nathan Holth
  • Kim Harvey
  • James McCray - jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Ben Tate - benji5221 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Truss & Rivets


Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted September 20, 2014, by Ralph Demars (rdemars1 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Love the second one. Beutiful.

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted September 16, 2014, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Span 1: Dropped. KYTC photos.

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted September 15, 2014, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Explosives were actually placed today. They blow it up tomorrow (the 16th).

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted September 15, 2014, by Lawrence Cloyd (lawrencecloyd [at] yahoo [dot] com)

The bridge is scheduled to be air blasted at 8:00 am on September 15, 2014.

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted June 24, 2014, by Bruce Bridges (railfan727 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Here is an excellent series of photos of the collapse: http://mdmccoy.blogspot.com/2014/06/ledbetter-bridge-progres...

Perhaps we can obtain permission from Mr. McCoy to integrate these into the main site?

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted June 24, 2014, by Lawrence Cloyd (lawrencecloyd [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I was the first person on the scene of the bridge just 3 minutes after the collapse by chance. I captured some of the first pictures of the collapse. All pictures are my original works.

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted June 23, 2014, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

KYTC photo from just before collapse.

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted June 23, 2014, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I dug up a photo from KYTC.

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted June 22, 2014, by Alex Wood

The approach span has collapsed on the western end of the bridge. Guess that seals the deal.

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted May 5, 2014, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

You would think the Transportation Cabinet would be celebrating this bridge collapsing... they were after all complaining that the cost of blowing this beautiful Modjeski masterpiece up was too expensive... if they will just be patient, it looks like mother nature will bring it down for free.

Sinkhole that sucks in Corvettes is also sucking in a bridge!
Posted May 4, 2014, by James McCray (jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com)

According to the following: http://www.westkentuckystar.com/News/Local-Regional/McCracke...

The same sinkhole that swallowed up the National Corvette Museum is sucking in this bridge. Keith Todd of the KY Transportation Cabinet says, "Among others, Mansfield has requested the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Kentucky Geological Survey to send personnel to the site to assess conditions along the bluff.

“We’ve asked the state Division of Emergency management to come on site to provide additional input,” Mansfield said.

He also noted that with the recent landslide in Washington State, and the sinkhole that developed under the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY, officials want to get a good grasp of the situation."

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted May 3, 2014, by David Backlin (us71 [at] cox [dot] net)


KYTC reports this bridge is in danger of immediate collapse.

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted April 8, 2012, by John Goold (BlueWilliamus [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I am not ungrateful for any truss even a modern truss bridge because at least it provides a superior crossing experience when compared to a UCEB. However, I would much rather see departments of transportation spend money restoring and maintaining true historic bridges instead of spending extra money to construct a truss bridge when a different type of bridge would be more cost effective. Modern truss bridges tend to be extremely plain. I will be putting an essay associated with two bridges I have recently photographed comparing the two on this site shortly.

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted March 30, 2012, by Kim Harvey


The construction of new bridge is going along, at least this one won't be an UCEB from the pictures already posted.

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted January 20, 2012, by Kim Harvey

The bridge now has a 3 ton weight limit. Source: http://www.westkentuckystar.com/News/Local---Regional/Wester...

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted May 1, 2011, by Madison

In the Paducah paper today, it said that the construction on the new bridge has been delayed by the major flooding in the area.

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted September 9, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

If anyone wondered whether the replacement would be ugly or not, the completed piers should help give a hint. I think they had a contest to design the ugliest piers. Photo from KYTC

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted August 15, 2010, by D. W. Adams (weetbixmarmite [at] yahoo [dot] com)

The I-526 bridge isn't altogether ugly. It's strange and curious, but it has a certain noséloque about it. The absence of verticals and laterals, a bridge made up of chords and diagonals only. I'll be sure to photograph the current bridge in great detail before its demise.

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted July 25, 2010, by Madison

Matt, you're right. It won't be pretty. But the bridge (for the amount of traffic it carries a day) is failing. They need a new bridge up there. But I totally agree, it'll be pretty ugly. :/

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted July 23, 2010, by Matthew Lohry

Wow--the I-526 Cooper River Bridge is just about the ugliest truss bridge I have ever seen in my life--modern continuous truss bridges are just plain painful to look at. At least if it were a cantilevered bridge, it would have some shape to it, but this thing is like a naked box. Yuk!! Another beautiful historic truss falls to an ugly modern truss.

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted July 23, 2010, by Keith Todd (keith [dot] todd [at] ky [dot] gov)

Main piers for a new bridge have been constructed just upstream from the existing bridge. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is planning to accept bids for the superstructure and remaining piers in the next few months. The superstructure will be similar to the I-526 Cooper River Bridge at Charleston, SC. I can provide photos of that bridge and renderings of the design of the new US 60 Tennessee River Bridge on request. Construction of the new bridge will take 3 to 4 years.

Keith Todd

Public Information Officer

KYTC District 1

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted May 4, 2010, by Madison

They're currently in the process of building a new bridge a couple miles down the river. So far, they've built the piers, but I'm not sure on the spans yet. I've heard rumors that it'll be a modern cantilevered bridge, and it should be open in 2012.

Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted February 28, 2007, by Anonymous

I believe this bridge is scheduled for or in the process of being replaced. Reading some Kentucky news and road info there are articles on this taking place. Also I may have read that the new bridge could possibly be a modern through truss. I could be wrong if it turns out to be a boring plane girder bridge.