barkley 300PADUCAH, Ky. (4/2/18) – Plans are firming up for the explosive demolition of two main spans on the old U.S. 68/Kentucky 80 Lake Barkley Bridge at Canton tentatively set for Wednesday, April 11. The demolition team has started cutting steel at key locations on the two main truss spans of the old bridge to weaken the 86-year-old structure.
 
Highway traffic on the new U.S. 68/Kentucky 80 Lake Barkley Bridge will be blocked for up to two hours to accommodate the use of explosives on the old bridge with an extended halt to commercial boat traffic on Lake Barkley.
 
“The detonation is expected sometime between 6:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. CDT, ” said KYTC District 1 Chief Engineer Mike McGregor. “Motorists are advised of the closure of the New U.S. 68/Kentucky 80 Lake Barkley Bridge for up to two hours to accommodate the blast. Recreational boat traffic will also be halted for several hours or more, with commercial boat traffic blocked for up to 24 hours.”
With a 1,500 ft. clear zone around the blast site, spectator overlooks will be limited.
 
“The demolition crew has indicated an area along the multi-use trail on the Land Between The Lakes side will be out of the clear zone and available for spectators.  There will be an east viewing near the Lakeview One Stop the Canton end of the bridge,” McGregor said.  ”Space for spectators will be much more limited than what we had for the old Eggners Ferry Bridge blast on Kentucky Lake.”
 
Traffic on U.S. 68/Kentucky 80 will be halted near the Lakeview One Stop on the Canton end of the new bridge.  Traffic will be halted at the Energy Lake Road Crossover at the Land Between The Lakes end.  Anyone behind those points will be out of the clear zone where they can watch the blast.
 
KYTC engineers, the prime contractor, and members of the demolition team will be meeting regularly starting Friday, April 6 to discuss the extended weather forecast to determine if weather conditions will impact the scheduled blast.
 
Once the main steel truss structures are dropped into Kentucky Lake, cranes will move to the site to remove the fallen steel as quickly as possible. The Coast Guard requires the contractor to clear the main channel within 24 hours to minimize disruptions to commercial river traffic.
 
The day of the blast, the contractor and KYTC personnel will be joined by Kentucky Emergency Management, the Coast Guard and area law enforcement agencies to provide security.

Constructed as a toll bridge, the old U.S. 68/Kentucky 80 Lake Barkley Bridge initially opened to traffic in 1932. Tolls were removed in August 1945. Also known as the Henry R. Lawrence Memorial Bridge and the Canton Bridge, the 3,104-foot-long structure has two 321-foot Parker through truss main spans and a 121-foot Pratt deck truss.
 
PCL Civil Constructors, of Denver, is the prime contractor on the $128 million project to construct the new bridge at the Canton crossing and remove the old structure. The new 3,805-foot-long bridge has a 550-foot basket-handle arch main span and opened to two-lane traffic on Feb. 12. 
 
The new U.S. 68/Kentucky 80 Lake Barkley Bridge, located at U.S. 68 milepoint 8.596 in Trigg County, is nine miles west of Cadiz and serves as the eastern entrance to Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. The bridge is at Cumberland River navigational milepoint 63.1.
 
Work along the new U.S. 68/Kentucky 80 Lake Barkley Bridge will continue through this year, including construction of a multi-use path, completion of permanent roadway connections, painting of the main arch, and other finish work.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Keith Todd

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