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.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is seeking federal highway funds through a disaster declaration to aid in restoring traffic across Kentucky Lake in Marshall County. The declaration allows the Kentucky Transportation cabinet to seek federal funds. KYTC public affairs officer Chuck Wolfe says the state won’t wait on emergency funds to continue work to restore traffic.
Almost a month after a cargo ship collision brought down part of the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge, area residents are still waiting to see what will be done to restore the crossing. State officials are considering a ferry service to move traffic across Kentucky Lake.
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.