Opening of new Eggners Ferry Bridge delayed

AURORA, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has delayed moving two-lane traffic to the new U.S. 68/KY 80 Eggners Ferry Bridge until sometime next week.

Transportation officials had expected the move to come on Friday. However, weather and a number of other factors combined to push the opening back several days.

“We knew there was a chance of rain this week, but we got more that expected. Windy conditions also created a number of issues that contributed to the delay,” said KYTC District 1 Public Information Officer Keith Todd. “After engineers looked at the work that remains to be done, they concluded it would be best to wait to move traffic to the new structure. We now expected that move to come sometime next week.”

No formal ceremony was planned for Friday. Officials are planning a public event when the bridge eventually opens to 4-lane traffic.

Todd noted the contractor has been focused on finishing concrete barriers, installing guardrail end treatments, diamond grinding the deck driving surface, completing a final inspection of paint, as well as checking tension on the deck support cables. After looking at the remaining work to be completed, engineers chose to push the traffic move into next week.

The contractor expects to start removing the deck from the old bridge within about a week of established 2-way traffic on the new bridge. An explosives team plans to be at the site next week for initial survey work to help with the demolition planning on the old bridge.

Todd said as soon as construction crews have finished out a punch list of tasks remaining to be completed, an opening date will be set.

“Yes, we’re disappointed the new bridge won’t be ready for traffic on Friday. However, we’re still excited that we’re getting close,” Todd said.

The existing U.S. 68/KY 80 Eggners Ferry Bridge initially opened to traffic in March 1932. Approximately 3,000 vehicles cross the existing Eggners Ferry Bridge daily.

In January 2012, a 322 ft. span of the Eggners Ferry Bridge was struck and knocked into the Kentucky Lake by the Delta Mariner cargo ship. KYTC engineers developed plans to rebuild the missing span and restore traffic to the bridge in 17 weeks. The existing Eggners Ferry Bridge was reopened to traffic in 2012 prior to Memorial Day.

Johnson Brothers Corporation of Ft. Worth, TX, a Southland Company, is the prime contractor on the $133 million Eggners Ferry Bridge project.

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