The new $133 million Eggner’s Ferry Bridge will open to four-lane traffic Aug. 31 after two years of construction.
The bridge stands on Kentucky Lake and connects Marshall and Trigg counties. It has been open to two-lane traffic since July.
“For students that live in Cadiz or the Hopkinsville area, this will make it easier for them to get to campus,” said Keith Todd, Public Information Officer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “This is really going to open some east-west connection to Murray.”
Both new bridges over Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley have a basket-handle tied arch design that was selected in 2009 after taking input from about 350 community members, according to Lake Bridges, a website created by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet that tells details of the Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake crossings.
Todd said the basket-handle arch design is very rare in the United States but is often seen in Asia.
“To have two in eight-and-a-half miles of each other is rare anywhere on the planet,” Todd said.
Todd said the bridge has a pedestrian walkway and multi-use trail that is anticipated to open in six-to-eight weeks. He also said in the walkway there are etchings depicting different Land Between the Lakes scenes, such as camping, wildlife, fishing and hunting. He said there are seven different designs that are evenly distributed every 80 – 100 feet.
“When the sun shines on it, it is really spectacular,” Todd said. “I think these bridges will become a tourist attraction because of the walkway and their unique design.”
The original bridges were constructed in 1932 and were narrow. The new Eggner’s Ferry bridge will be “generally parallel” and approximately 50 feet north of the old bridge. The original Eggner’s Ferry bridge is being demolished using controlled explosives, according to Lake Bridges.
On Aug. 31 from 8 a.m. – noon community members will be able to walk on two-lanes of the bridge — separated by a barrier — before a ribbon cutting at noon. Everyone will clear off the bridge by 12:30 p.m. when the bridge will open to four-lane traffic, Todd said.