Missing span of Kentucky bridge to be rebuilt
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Since then, the wreckage was cleared away, the ship was repaired and sent underway, and now the state has let an ambitious $7 million contract to replace the missing span by Memorial Day.
Naturally, local residents are thrilled about the repair contract. This is much better than the alternative, a ferry crossing, which probably wouldn't be in operation before Memorial Day anyway -- and would be a bottleneck on a good day.
Details about the replacement span are sketchy, but it appears that it will be some kind of truss span (a Bailey-like design perhaps?). The local newspaper reports:
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet outlined the structure that will replace the bridge span in its bid request. The section will be a railing system at least as strong as the existing bridge, with comporting dimensions. The deck will be 20 feet wide, made of asphalt or concrete. The trusses will be painted to match the color of the adjacent spans.
This will certainly be an interesting sight, at least until the entire structure is replaced by a new four-lane bridge in a few years.
In other related news:
- The name of the Eggner's Ferry Bridge has become the subject of debate -- maybe it's Eggners Ferry, maybe it's Eggner Ferry, or maybe it's even Egner Ferry.
- Just down the road from Eggner's Ferry, a similar truss bridge over Lake Barkley was briefly closed following a barge strike. The bridge is fine, but I can only imagine the sickening "Oh crap not again!" feeling experienced by locals.
- The doomed Ledbetter Bridge near Paducah, Kentucky, now has a 35-mph speed limit to go with the 3-ton weight limit. Weigh-in-motion sensors have been installed to enforce the weight limit.
- The Mississippi River Bridge at Cairo, Illinois, has finally reopened to traffic following a more than year long closure. Unlike Kentucky, Illinois decided to shut down the bridge to all traffic in response to truckers ignoring the 15-ton weight limit -- even though funding for the repair work wouldn't be available for most of a year. Thankfully Kentucky is slightly more clueful in how to handle these situations.