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
Politicians and Anglers are teaming up to stop the U-S Army Corps of Engineers from installing barriers next to its dams on the Cumberland River which will keep boats from accessing the dam’s tail waters. Senators Mitch McConnell, Lamar Alexander and Rand Paul, and Congressman Ed Whitfield took part in a “Freedom to Fish Rally” this weekend at Barkley Dam to protest to Corps’ plan.
U.S. Senators from Kentucky and Tennessee along with Congressman Ed Whitfield are holding a “Freedom To Fish” rally this weekend to gain support for a bill that prevents the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers from imposing restriction on fishing near Corp dams on the Cumberland River.
Saturday’s rally, which includes Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Kentucky Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, is at Barkley Dam. Whitfield’s “Freedom to Fish Act” promises to prohibit the Corps of Engineers from taking any action to restrict public access to waters downstream of a dam.
Kentucky First District Congressman Ed Whitfield (R) says he’s against closing off waters close to Cumberland River dams to boaters and fisherman. Army Corp of Engineers officials say the restrictions would include closing off 400 feet of water upstream and 700 downstream from Barkley Dam.
Congressman Whitfield says the enforcement changes are unnecessary. He says,
“There have been like three deaths since ’96 and there’s been one death at Barkley. The goal is no deaths. But there has not been any number of deaths or increase in dangerous activity or deaths to justify changing this management plan.”
The Corps of Engineers says the access restrictions are already part of their river management plan, but have not been enforced. Whitfield says he plans to meet with the head of the Corps early next month to request that they don't change the management plan and allow boaters to fish near the dams.