Preparations to demolish the Old Eggners Ferry Bridge over Kentucky Lake are expected to kick off as early as this afternoon.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says contractors are looking to begin saw cutting on the concrete deck of the 85-year-old structure this week.
KYTC District 1 Chief Engineer Mike McGregor says that process may take up to 4 weeks to complete.
The U.S. Coast Guard has requested that the main spans of the old bridge by removed as quickly as possible so as not to interrupt navigation channels.
McGregor says day and night crews may be working around the clock.
Once deck removal is completed, spans “A” and “F” at each end of the bridge will be lifted from the piers by cranes and placed on barges for disassembly. The remaining steel truss spans will dropped into the lake with the use of explosives, then retrieved for recycling.
Engineers are looking at late July or early August to schedule an explosive demolition of the old bridge.
KYTC is working to coordinate efforts with the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) on wildlife issues. KDFWR officials are also monitoring the demolition to assure it meets all provisions of the Migratory Bird Act and other regulations as the bridge as been known to be a roost for osprey nests.
Full passage of the new Eggner’s Ferry bridge is due open in late July, though KYTC has allowed two-way traffic on the bridge since April.
Johnson Bros. Construction of Texas is the prime contractor for the $133 million bridge project which includes construction of the new bridge and demolition of the old.