US 60 Ledbetter Barges/Crane on Track to Reopen
A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to resume hanging steel on the new US 60 Ledbetter Bridge next Monday. C.J. Mahan Contracting has had construction crews working on other phases of the project while a salvage team has been working to re-float a crane barge at the site.
As of today, the salvage team has replaced the two outside barges that support the 280 ft. crane. They hope to finish securing the newly added barges by sometime Tuesday. The crane and barge support system were found to be taking on water and listing at the construction site on the Tennessee River between McCracken County and Livingston County over Memorial Day Weekend. An employee of the company was making routine rounds checking on the construction site when he discovered the problem, prompting a scramble by the company and area emergency agencies to save the crane.
After the sinking barge was stabilized, it was moved to the Livingston County shoreline and allowed to settle on the bottom to keep the crane above water. The barge was then surrounded with booms to keep oil from seeping into the river. Mahan engineers noted that the crane and barge had been working at the site for about a year with no indication of problems, making the sinking something of a mystery.
In the weeks before it started leaking, the crane had started lifting steel beams into place for assembly of the main truss section on the McCracken County side of the river. That work is expected to resume next Monday