A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is continuing to make progress on the demolition of the Old Ledbetter Bridge. The contractor has removed all the concrete decking from the 3 truss spans and has started removing decking on the eastern approach spans at the Livingston County end of the 85 year old structure.
The contractor submitted a demolition plan to the US Coast Guard for approval about a month ago. The Coast Guard shared the plan with a river industry trade group and federal agencies for their input. This week the US
Army Corps of Engineers indicated they would like to have more input on the project. At this time the Corps of Engineers is asking for some additional time to review the plan.
The contractor has indicated that removing the remaining deck from the structure will keep their crew busy for up to a month. However, once the demolition plan gains approval by the various agencies, the crew can use explosives to remove sections of the bridge truss within a couple of weeks. The demolition contract calls for all of the bridge to be removed by December 1st.
The Old Ledbetter Bridge opened to traffic in 1931. Traffic was moved to the new bridge in July 2013.
Two western approach spans on the Old Ledbetter Bridge dropped several inches at the end of April this year. The approaches were eventually brought down by land slippage along a bluff on the McCracken County side of the Tennessee River that moved two of the land-based support piers on the bridge. That land movement prompted transportation officials to expedite demolition.