Landmark bridge stabilized in Fleming County

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FLEMING COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Contractors successfully stabilized the Grange City Covered Bridge in Fleming County that was damaged by flood waters, according to the state.

In late May, floodwaters inundated the 1860’s covered bridge where it spans Fox Creek adjacent to KY 111, just north of Grange City.

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The state and bridge engineers assessed the damage, then consulted nationally-known covered bridge expert Arnold Graton on short-term stabilization and longer-term restoration.

Work on the $300,000 stabilization project began in June.  The state says the first phase included tying the bridge to temporary steel supports to keep it from slipping further and placing sandbags around the damaged piers to control erosion.

For the second phase, which began earlier this month, permanent steel beams were installed across Fox Creek parallel to the bridge.  Steel supports were tied to the bridge underneath and connected to the beams crossing the creek, creating an exoskeleton of sorts, which now protectively cradles the covered bridge, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

The bridge is an 86-foot-long Burr truss design built between 1865-and-1870.

The bridge was closed to traffic in 1968, and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

For safety reasons, the bridge and the area around it remain closed to the public.

The Grange City Covered Bridge is one of about a dozen covered bridges in Kentucky, and one of three in Fleming County, which is known to tourists as The Covered Bridge Capital of Kentucky.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.