The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is moving forward with the bidding phase for a new bridge over the Kentucky Lake in Aurora.
Dozens of potential contractors attended an informational meeting yesterday for details on the $130-$150 million project and to tour the site of a smaller lagoon bridge that will connect the lake crossing to U.S. 68/Ky. Hwy. 80.
KYTC Chief District Engineer Mike McGregor says the bidding process should begin Dec. 13. He hopes to announce a contract by the New Year.
Construction on the new bridge, he says should be complete by 2015, and he anticipates the bridge to serve the area for many years.
"Estimates that I hear from people is that it should last, you know, 75-100 years," he said. "And it’s built with certainly a lot more significant seismic or earthquake information, so it would be our expectation that it’ll be around for a long time."
The bridge contract project will include construction of the new bridge and demolition of the existing Eggners Ferry Bridge.
The KyTC also released the final design for the replacement bridge. The new design adds diagonal netting and an additional pillar at every pier along the structure.
K-y-T-C District 1 Chief Engineer Mike McGregor says the changes will help the larger four-lane bridge settle into high-wind and heavy barge traffic conditions.
"There's really two ways by which you cand do those cables," he said. "Some are just vertical or fanned out to where they don't cross or this design is called network cabling. Network cables are a little more efficient then vertical cables."
The bridge's basket-handle tied arch design will also allow a wider channel for barges and ahigher 60-foot clearance to accommodate recreational sailboats.
The new bridge will replace the now 81-year-old two-lane Eggners Ferry Bridge.