MCCRACKEN COUNTY, Ky. (8/5/14) — A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has removed about half of the concrete decking on the 3 main spans of the Old Ledbetter Bridge.
The contractor saw cut the concrete and over the last week has been using a track hoe to break off 3-foot sections of the decking, then using a loader to haul the concrete chunks back down the bridge to the Livingston County side of the Tennessee River for disposal.
The contractor plans to continue working from west to east along the bridge until the concrete decking is removed from the main spans.
The contractor submitted plans for the demolition to the US Coast Guard for approval several weeks ago. The Coast Guard has indicated it would take about 30 days to fully review the plan. They have also provided the plan to other agencies and river industry organizations for their input.
Once the plan is approved, the contactor will be able to provide a timetable for the ongoing demolition work through the summer.
Throughout the demolition process the safety of workers and the public will be of prime importance.
Also known as the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge, The Old Ledbetter Bridge was opened to traffic in 1931. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has issued a $5.6 million demolition contract that requires the old bridge to be removed by Dec. 1 of this year.
The Old Ledbetter Bridge has been closed since July 2013, when traffic was moved to the New US 60 Tennessee River Bridge just upstream.
At the end of April a section of the west approach on the Old Ledbetter Bridge dropped several feet due to land movement along the bluff on the McCracken County side of the river. Due to the continued land slippage along the bluff, one land-based approach pier and two approach spans at the west end of the bridge collapsed in the early morning hours of June 22, prompting engineers to expedite demolition of the structure.
Demolition of the bridge will require close coordination with the US Coast Guard and river industry groups to help minimize disruptions to navigation along the Tennessee River.Timely traffic advisories for the 12 counties of KYTC Highway District 1 are available by going to www.facebook.com/kytcdistrict1. You do not have to be a Facebook member to access this page.
Information provided by Keith Todd
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