Kentucky transportation officials say further movement has been detected in approach spans at the Old Ledbetter bridge over the Tennessee River. The Transportation Cabinet said Tuesday that the approach spans showed 2.25 inches of movement in the past 48 hours.
KYTC District 1 Chief Engineer Mike McGregor said the additional approach movement has prompted engineers to take some additional precautions.
“First, we want to again urge the public to avoid areas beneath the approach spans on the McCracken County side of the river," McGregor said. "Second, we will be placing solar powered navigation lights on the main truss spans and piers in case power to the existing lights should be cut by an additional drop in the approach spans. Third, we are continuing negotiations with contractors in an effort to expedite demolition of the bridge.”
The bridge is no longer used for traffic and was replaced last year, but a couple of weeks ago, officials discovered that two sections had dropped about 2 feet. Initially, the Coast Guard closed the river for several hours, and hasn't allowing mariners to stop near the bridge since discovering the bridge's drop.