New U.S. 68/KY 80 Eggners Ferry Bridge to open to two-way traffic around midday Friday

AURORA, Ky. (April 6, 2016) — The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) plans to move two-lane traffic to the new U.S. 68/KY 80 Eggners Ferry Bridge between about 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. CDT, on Friday, April 8.

“Our immediate goal is to establish two-way traffic on the new bridge,” KYTC District 1 Chief Engineer Mike McGregor said.  “This move will allow the contactor to start planning for demolition of the old bridge while finishing work continues on the new structure.  We think the new bridge could be ready for four-lane traffic by August.”

No formal ceremony is planned for Friday.  However, transportation officials anticipate a public event when the new bridge is ready for 4-lane traffic in a few months.

McGregor reminded motorists that the bridge continues to be an active work zone with a 35 mile per hour speed limit.

“To help avoid safety issues, law enforcement will assist our efforts to smoothly transition traffic to the new structure,” continued McGregor.  “We’d like the public to be alert for changes in traffic flow along the work zone as we make the traffic move sometime during the day on Friday.”

This week, the contractor has been focused on finishing concrete barriers, installing guardrail end treatments, diamond grinding the deck driving surface, completing a final inspection of paint on the new structure and checking tension on the deck support cables.  Lane striping will be one of the last items completed before traffic is diverted from the old bridge.

The contractor expects to start removing the deck from the old bridge as early as next week.   An explosives team will also be at the site taking some preliminary measurements to help with the demolition planning process.

Due to an offset of the navigation channel from the new bridge to the old bridge, the US Coast Guard has requested that the main spans of the old structure be removed as quickly as possible once the traffic move is completed.

The existing U.S. 68/KY 80 Eggners Ferry Bridge initially opened to traffic in March 1932.  In 1943, the bridge was closed for 6 months to allow the bridge to be raised to accommodate higher water levels due to the impounding of Kentucky Lake.  Approximately 3,000 vehicles cross the existing Eggners Ferry Bridge daily.

In January 2012, a 322 ft. span of the Eggners Ferry Bridge was struck and knocked into the Kentucky Lake by the Delta Mariner cargo ship. KYTC engineers developed plans to rebuild the missing span and restore traffic to the bridge in 17 weeks.  The existing Eggners Ferry Bridge was reopened to traffic in 2012 prior to Memorial Day.

Johnson Brothers Corporation of Ft. Worth, TX, a Southland Company, is the prime contractor on the $133 million Eggners Ferry Bridge project.

(Featured Image: KYTC)

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