The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet expects workers to begin drilling this afternoon at the site of the new US 68/KY 80 bridge across Lake Barkley.
The existing bridge carries approximately 3,800 vehicles daily and serves as the eastern entrance to Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.
The Five M Transportation Motor Vessel Gail Ann and work barges are anchored at Cumberland River mile point 63.1, near the US 68/KY 80 Henry Lawrence Memorial Bridge at Canton in Trigg County. Workers will sample bedrock beneath the lake to help engineers finalize their pier foundation designs.
The floating rig will not impede vehicular traffic crossing the bridge. The US Coast Guard will work with the crew to avoid disrupting river traffic at the site.
Construction of the new bridge at Canton is expected to begin in early 2015 and is estimated to cost about $150 million. The design will be a basket handle arch to match the new Eggner’s Ferry Bridge across Kentucky Lake, which is expected to be ready for traffic in December 2015.