The Five M Transportation Motor Vessel Gail Ann and work barges hauling drilling equipment have arrived at Cumberland River mile point 63.1in Lake Barkley and are anchored near the US 68/Kentucky 80 Henry Lawrence Memorial Bridge at Canton.
The crew will be sampling subsurface rock at the specific location of each pier for the new US 68/Kentucky 80 Lake Barkley Bridge.
The drilling crew will be collecting specific data on bedrock beneath the lake to help guide engineers as they finalize the design of pier foundations. While the floating drilling rig will not impact vehicular traffic crossing the bridge, the crew will be closely coordinating their work with the US Coast Guard to avoiding impeding river traffic at the site.
The crew had planned to start work last week, but weather and other issues delayed their arrival.
Plans for the new bridge are expected to be ready for construction to start in early 2015. The new bridge, estimated to cost about $150 million, will be built just downstream from the existing bridge at Canton.
The new Canton bridge will be a basket handle arch design to match the new bridge across Kentucky Lake that is just starting construction. The new Eggners Ferry Bridge at the western entrance to Land Between The Lakes is expected to be ready for traffic in December 2015.
The existing US 68/Kentucky 80 Cumberland River/Lake Barkley Bridge, also known as the Lawrence Memorial Bridge and the Canton Bridge, carries approximately 3,800 vehicles in an average day. The existing bridge is located at US 68 mile point 8.596 in Trigg County and serves as the eastern entrance to Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area.For more information go to www.lakebridges.com.
Information provided by Keith Todd
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