Engineering analysis work is continuing toward the start of demolition on the Old Ledbetter Bridge crossing the Tennessee River between Livingston and McCracken Counties. Revised demolition plans for the 83 year old structure were submitted to the U.S. Coast Guard for review last week.
Due to the potential impact on barge traffic, the demolition will require close coordination among the contractor, the Coast Guard, and the marine industry. A specialty contractor plans to mobilize this week with the start of some on-site demolition prep as early as next week.
Jim Smith Contracting may be working to improve equipment access and clearing of some brush on the McCracken side of the river this week to prepare for demolition to ramp up.
A detailed blasting plan will be submitted soon for review. The bluff along the McCracken County side of the river has continued moving since the west approach spans dropped several inches on April 30th. The land slippage has since taken out one land-based pier and the two approach spans it supported. While there has been no impact on truss spans that cross the river channel, another land-based approach pier and span are leaning and could fall at any time.
The Old Ledbetter Bridge has been closed since the end of July 2013 when US 60 traffic was moved to the new bridge upstream. Transportation officials warn the public to avoid areas along the bluff near the bridge.