Maysville bridge may reopen in May but with lower weight limit

FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. (WTVQ) – Some relief may be in sight for motorists who use Highway 62 to cross the Ohio River between Maysville, Ky. and Aberdeen, Ohio.

Engineers plan to reopen the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge in downtown Maysville in early May after additional rust-proofing and final inspections, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

The 1930s-era bridge, which carries US 62 across the Ohio River between Maysville and Aberdeen, Ohio, closed late last year when inspectors found extensive corrosion damage to several suspender cables the vertical cables extending from the main suspension cable that support the bridges driving surface.

In March, contractors began a temporary safety repair that included installation of support rods and brackets to reduce the stress on 19 damaged cables.

While that work is substantially complete, extra rust-proofing as well as weight limit calculations and inspections are now needed before the bridge can reopened.

“We understand the importance of the Simon Kenton bridge to our region,” said Steve Gunnell, Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 chief engineer. “That’s why were taking a proactive, safety-first approach to protect motorists and to ensure the bridge remains open with the least amount of future traffic disruption.”

The rust-proofing, which has been added to the repair contract, includes applying a special anti-corrosive coating to steel cables and other components that are showing higher rates of corrosion than expected.

Engineers hope the extra work will slow down deterioration, and reduce the need for further retrofit closures, until longer-term repairs such as a full-cable replacement project can be planned.

Once rust-proofing and inspections are complete, perhaps as early as the first or second week of May, the Simon Kenton bridge will be reopened. And, it will be restricted to a lower weight limit.

Until then, the bridge remains closed.

All US 62 traffic should detour using the William H. Harsha Bridge (US 68) three miles north of Maysville to connect to and from US 52 and US 62 in Ohio.

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