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This page is dedicated to answering some of the most common project questions we have heard. As the project is ongoing, this page will be updated with more recent FAQ.

If your question is not answered by the information found on this website, we ask you to send us your question on the Contact Us page.

Precise answers won’t be known until the final design is underway; however, the team will work to maintain traffic during construction to the extent possible and minimize existing bridge closure periods. The construction timeline for the new bridge will be developed during final design and additional information will be provided as the project progresses. The existing bridge will continue to undergo routine maintenance, including short-term closures, as needed. The existing bridge will remain operational until the new bridge and roadway are open to traffic.

River navigation uses and vessel size have changed significantly since the bridge was opened in 1938, and it is unlikely the original design considered vessel impact. The existing bridge has been struck with glancing blows multiple times throughout the years and withstood those impacts. Applying current bridge design standards would however indicate there is a probability of damage that could cause the bridge to be shut down due to impact.

During the 2014 planning study, several safety concerns were identified on the existing bridge including narrow lanes and shoulders, a sharp curve, and inadequate sight distance. These concerns and conditions were further evaluated during preliminary engineering and environmental phases of the project. Formal historic resource coordination and review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) was undertaken to assess the resource with full consideration of viable project alternatives. More information is provided in the approved Section 106 document here.

The existing bridge is safe and there are no current deficiencies affecting the structural integrity.

The environmental process required that rehabilitation, no-build, and replacement alternatives all be studied. The determination was made that the bridge should be replaced.

Currently, the existing bridge is rated in fair (5) condition. Generally, any bridge that falls into the Poor category (4 or less) should be considered for maintenance or repair. Further information can be found with regards to NBI ratings in the FHWA Recording and Coding Guide for the Structure Inventory and Appraisal of the Nation’s Bridges located here.

Yes. The current bridge is inspected every two years. In addition, minor repairs and an overlay was added to the bridge in 2020. This work is due to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s commitment to maintaining the bridge until the construction of the new bridge is completed.

The bridge was completed on November 11, 1938, and rehabilitated in 1999 in addition to the recent 2020 maintenance work.

There is not a specific age at which a bridge needs to be replaced. It depends on how well the bridge performs its function and what condition it is in. New bridges today typically consider a design life of 75 years or longer.

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