Work continues today on the US 68/KY 80 Eggners Ferry Bridge at Aurora. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Keith Todd says workers have made significant progress in placing concrete forms and setting rebar on the new span.
Todd adds the concrete could be poured on the as early as Monday and inspectors are standing by in order to speed up the process. Crews are also on site working to connect electrical conduit severed by the Delta Mariner cargo ship when it crashed into the bridge in January. Hall Contracting has to meet a Memorial Day weekend deadline to fix the bridge which normally carries nearly 3 thousand vehicles per day.
From the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet:
Construction workers continue to swarm the new span on the US 68/KY 80 Eggners Ferry Bridge at Aurora. With the new span set in place on Monday, workers have made “significant progress” in their effort to place forms and reinforcing steel required to allow a new concrete deck to be poured on the structure.
This morning Hall Contracting indicated that they expect the span to be open as scheduled by May 27th. Work on the new deck has intensified as workers focus on meeting the Memorial Day deadline for restoring traffic. That has prompted Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials to limit access to the bridge to essential personnel only.
KYTC inspectors who monitor construction activities say they believe the new deck could be ready for concrete to be poured as early as Monday. However, there are any number of issues that could impact progress, including the weather.
A KYTC electrical crew is continuing work along the bridge to prepare for completion of the new span. Required electrical work will include addition of conduit to the new portion of the structure. Power for the bridge originally came from the LBL/Trigg County side. After the 322 ft. span was knocked off the bridge by the Cargo Ship Delta Mariner on January 26th, electric power to the bridge had to be temporarily re-routed to come from the Marshall County or western end of the structure. As part of the restoration of the missing span, electric power will again be supplied from the LBL end.
Once a new deck is poured on the replacement span, KYTC construction inspectors will check the concrete to assure it is of proper strength. Once the contractor completes the pouring of concrete, KYTC bridge inspectors will check and document the new span. Transportation Cabinet engineers say they plan to have enough inspectors on hand to complete the required safety checks in a few hours.
The new deck is designed to closely match the existing 22 ft. wide deck on the rest of the 81 year old structure.
Hall Contracting of Louisville has a $7 million contract to replace the missing span and get the bridge reopened to traffic by Memorial Day weekend.
The bridge serves as the western entrance to The Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area providing a key transportation link for the tourism industry in Kentucky’s 15-county Western Lakes Region. According to Kentucky’s Western Waterland, a regional tourism promotion group, tourism dollars provide a direct annual contribution of $472 million to the region and a direct contribution of $7.4 billion to the Kentucky economy statewide.