AURORA, Ky. (Nov. 30, 2015) – A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) plans to place a $20 million 550-foot main span on the new U.S. 68/KY 80 Eggners Ferry Bridge starting at 7 a.m., Tuesday.
As the steel truss starts the move to a permanent home on the new bridge vehicle traffic on the existing Eggners Ferry Bridge will be halted for up to 24 hours. The necessary detour via Interstate 24 and the Purchase Parkway will add 42 miles to a trip between Cadiz and Murray.
Movement of the 5.1 million pound arch will also trigger a halt of all commercial and pleasure boat traffic at the construction site.
Placement of the 110 ft. tall steel structure will require almost perfect weather with winds of less than 10 miles per hour. Engineers waited until late afternoon Monday to commit to the Tuesday move when winds are expected to be about 7 miles per hour out of the west.
Steel for the basket handle arch has been constructed and painted on barges at the east end of the construction site. The contractor and KYTC engineers spent much of the day running final system checks on the jacking system that will lift the new span into place.
Lifting the massive 550 ft. steel structure into place is expected to take 8 to 12 hours to complete on the following estimated timeline:
Move would start around 7 a.m., CST
River and lake traffic to halt for up to 48 hours
Highway traffic halted for up to 12 hours
The span will move to the center of the river over about an hour.
Another hour to move into position next to the main piers
About 2 to 4 hours to jack the span to the top of the piers
Another 1 to 2 hours to maneuver it into place and lower onto plates atop the piers.
Another 1 to 3 hours to remove the jack towers and remove the barges
Transportation Cabinet District 1 spokesman Keith Todd noted that things will move in slow motion over about 8 to 10 hours.
“We’re recommending anyone who would like to watch the move to go to Cherokee Park. The folks at KenLake State Park have also very graciously agreed to open their campground which may provide the best viewing site for the event,” Todd said.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet personnel, the U.S. Coast Guard, emergency management agencies for surrounding counties, Kentucky State Police, other police agencies will assist the contractor will establish a 2,000-foot clear zone around the construction area during the all-day move.
Once the span is safely in place on the main piers, KYTC District 1 Chief Engineer Mike McGregor said in coming weeks the contractor should be able to more accurately calculate the time needed to place a concrete deck on the structure and determine when traffic might be moved to the new bridge.
A $131.5 million contract for the new Kentucky Lake bridge was awarded to Johnson Bros. Corporation, a Southland Company, in February 2014. Michael Baker Jr. Inc. and Palmer Engineering designed the unique, basket-handle tied arch model – among only a few dozen in the world.
(Image Source: KYTC District 1)