Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews are expected to finish work preparing the Eggners Ferry Bridge for repair work by early next week. Workers are replacing guard rails and removing concrete debris from the bridge deck ahead of a crew from Hall Contracting of Kentucky. Hall Contracting was hired in March to replace the 322-foot span of bridge which collapsed when the Delta Mariner cargo ship struck the bridge. KYTC spokesperson Keith Todd says the cabinet is hesitant to set dates for the repairs.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews are working on the remaining spans of the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge ahead of the arrival contractors to replace a collapsed portion of the bridge. Officials say they’re trying to complete routine repairs including railing replacement and repairs, as well as deck patching. KYTC Engineer Jim LeFevre says this will cut down on lane restrictions once the span is reopened. Hall Contracting of Kentucky Inc. was awarded a $7 million contract to replace the span which requires the company to have the bridge ready to reopen to traffic before Memorial Day.
The US Department of Transportation will award a $9 million dollar grant to the Kentucky for repairs to the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge. Kentucky 1st District US Representative Ed Whitfield says the grant is authorized under the Emergency Relief program within the Federal Highway’s Administration. Whitfield says the money will help to restore the span crossing Kentucky Lake in a timely manner. Governor Steve Beshear says repairs should be complete by the Memorial Day holiday weekend or the contractor performing repairs faces hefty fines.
The contractor hired by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to replace a missing span on the US 68/KY 80 Eggners Ferry Bridge at Aurora has started detailed engineering and design work required for production of steel needed for the repair.
A 322-foot span was knocked off the bridge on the evening of Jan. 26, when struck by the 8,200-ton cargo ship Delta Mariner. The crash severed an important link in the region’s economy.
Hall Contracting of Kentucky was the low bidder for a contract to build a replacement span and reopen the bridge by May 27 – on Memorial Day weekend .
The Eggners Ferry bridge has spanned the Tennessee River since 1932, but the ferry from which it acquired its name opened in the 1800s under the ownership of a calloused man named Milton. Phillip Egner, more commonly known as Dean, traced his ancestry to the ferry owner. Dean said Milton ran the ferry from the 1840s until 1878, when he sold the business to one or two of his children. Dean said he knew little about the man other than Milton’s business endeavors and his reputation.