AURORA, Ky. (May 24, 2012) — Repairs to the U.S. 68/KY 80 Eggners Ferry Bridge continue on track for reopening of the bridge in time for the Memorial Day weekend.
A Hall Contracting crew on Wednesday continued curb finishing work along the replacement span deck and installation of guardrail along the new driving surface. They also continued work to remove some of the wooden forms used to pour the decking and curbs. Testing of samples taken during the concrete pour have shown all concrete used for the deck to exceed state strength specifications.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) crews have continued placing conduit on the bridge. Today, a team of KYTC bridge inspectors will conduct a detailed inspection of the new span.
The Eggners Ferry Bridge crosses Kentucky Lake between Marshall and Trigg counties. A 322-foot span of the bridge was destroyed when struck by an 8,200 ton cargo ship on the night of Jan. 26. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) awarded an emergency contract for the repair project to Hall Contracting. The contract specifies a deadline of Sunday, May 27, for completion of repairs and reopening the bridge to traffic.
KYTC District 1 Chief Engineer Jim LeFevre said work remains on schedule to allow the bridge to open ahead of the midnight Sunday deadline for restoring traffic. However, the bridge continues to be a busy place.
“We continue to be optimistic the remaining finish work will be completed ahead of schedule,” LeFevre said. “However, at this point, it is difficult to predict a specific day and time for restoring traffic. We will continue to monitor progress on all fronts and will make an announcement as soon as possible.”
LeFevre said any number of additional issues could hamper progress on the bridge, including the weather.
When the 8,200-ton Delta Mariner knocked out the span on Jan. 26, electrical power to the structure from the Trigg County side was knocked out. Within days after the incident, KYTC crews had temporarily rerouted power to the bridge from the Marshall County side. To help avoid delaying the restoration of traffic, KYTC engineers plan to leave the power source at the west end of the structure.
“We want to thank Pennyrile Rural Electric Cooperative and the West Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative for their cooperation,” LeFevre said. “Both of PRECC and WKRECC have provided a great service to the people of the region by working out an agreement and providing assistance that has helped us restore and maintain power to the bridge.”
In addition to serving as the western entrance to The Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area, the US 68/KY 80 Eggners Ferry Bridge provides a key transportation link for area commuters and for tourism in Kentucky’s 15-county Western Lakes Region.
Tourism dollars make a direct annual contribution of $472 million to the region and $7.4 billion to the Kentucky’s statewide economy, according to officials with the Kentucky Western Waterland regional tourism organization.
When a date and time for restoring traffic is determined it will be posted at www.facebook.com/kytcdistrict1.