An inspection of the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge piers has revealed no major damage despite being hit by an 86 hundred ton cargo ship in January. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock says results of the emergency inspection were encouraging, and meant they were getting closer to repairing the damaged span. Governor Steve Beshear said during a press conference this week the KYTC is moving toward the use of a ferry service during the several months it will take to install a replacement span.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says state officials are aggressively searching for options to accommodate traffic at the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge. The Governor says he expects inspection reports to be ready within the next couple of weeks to help clearly layout a timeline for whichever options are deemed best. He says though, at this point, it looks like one of the quickest options may be establishing a ferry service at the site:
Gov. Steve Beshear today took a firsthand look at the damaged Eggners Ferry Bridge and said getting traffic restored across Kentucky Lake is among his highest priorities.
“We are keenly aware of the inconvenience for travelers and the economic hardship that has been created for many business owners because of the sudden loss of this route across Kentucky Lake,” Gov. Beshear said. “Our engineers are working non-stop on plans to get traffic safely restored.”
The owners of a cargo ship that struck and collapsed part of the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge say they were not responsible because some of the bridge's lights were not working. Delta Mariner owner Foss Maritime made the claim in a federal lawsuit seeking to remove any liability from the late January collision on Kentucky Lake. The Miller Law Firm in Paducah is representing Foss in the suit. U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Lt. Jennifer Jessee says all aspects of the wreck are being reviewed and no cause has been determined.
Governor Steve Beshear will make an announcement Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. regarding the Eggners Ferry Bridge. The Governor will hold a press conference at the eastern section of the bridge. While details of the speech aren’t public, it is likely that Governor Beshear will address the future of that crossing at Kentucky Lake.
It’s been two weeks since the Delta Mariner crashed into the Eggners Ferry Bridge, collapsing a 300 foot section of the road deck. The biggest question still remaining for motorists and business owners who depend on the traffic over the bridge is when and how will traffic be restored. Chad Lampe spoke with Kentucky Department of Highways Spokesman Keith Todd, click the link above to listen to the interview.
Inspectors are preparing a report to evaluate the future of the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge. The report will determine if the remaining structure can be safely repaired. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Public Information Officer Keith Todd told the Paducah Sun he expects the report to be released mid-day today. Workers will resume clearing debris today after stopping work yesterday due to fog.
The Coast Guard has approved the transit of the Delta Mariner to a safe harbor on the Tennessee River today.
Salvage workers successfully cut the Delta Mariner free from subsurface bridge debris at 10:15 a.m., and will continue removing remaining portions of the bridge from the bow of the ship once it is safely secured a mile from its current location.