SANDY HOOK, Ky. – The steel truss bridge, opened in the 1930s, has been a gateway to the scenic Laurel Gorge for generations of fishermen, kayakers and other recreation lovers.
The restorations will include adding splice/reinforcement plates, replacing rivets and other repairs to strengthen steel beams. Guardrail and bridge joint improvements are also planned. When repairs are complete, a new coat of paint will preserve the bridge’s integrity.
The structurally deficient bridge was closed to all traffic in recent years due to its condition, and prior to closure was only rated to carry traffic up to three tons.
The restoration project, by Intech Contracting LLC, will allow the bridge to be reopened at an increased weight limit of 15 tons to serve local residents and schools buses, as well as outdoor enthusiasts visiting cliff-lined Laurel Gorge.
The bridge serves another critical function: It carries utility lines across the Little Sandy, connecting sewage treatment and other services in Sandy Hook to rural Elliott County and the nearby Little Sandy Correctional Complex.
The project is made possible with federal and state funding through KYTC’s Bridging Kentucky program, which was launched to repair or replace hundreds of smaller bridges across the commonwealth. Work on the project began in March, and it may be finished by late summer or early fall.