Lake Barkley Bridge closed for arch addition

Story by Ashley Traylor, Staff writer

Traffic over the Lake Barkley Bridge in Canton, Kentucky will be closed at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14. It will be closed for up to 48 hours because the arch will be placed on the new bridge.

Traffic on the water will close at 7 a.m. and will be closed for 72 hours.

The detour around Interstate 24 will add 40 miles for a trip between Murray and Cadiz, Kentucky.

Keith Todd, public information officer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, said the arch has been constructed on barges near the Canton end of construction area. He said constructing it on barges creates a safer work space and moves the bridge-building process along faster.

“Because, say instead of working 60 feet above the water, they were working maybe 15 feet above the water, and it made a lot more sense for them to assemble it and lift into place and set it on top of the piers,” Todd said.

He said it takes about 10-14 hours to place the arch onto the bridge. The same process was used for placing the arch on Eggner’s Ferry Bridge.

Todd said the weather must be favorable and the winds below 15 mph for construction to begin on Tuesday. If the weather on the target date is favorable, he said he will send out an announcement informing the public, but if it is not then construction may be pushed back to Wednesday or Thursday.

Todd said if the weather conditions are not desirable, the construction may be pushed back to Wednesday or Thursday.

The public can watch the arch placement, but they must stay at least 2,000 feet away from the work area.

The new bridge will replace the Henry R. Lawrence Memorial Bridge at Canton, which is 85 years old, according to the press release from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Erika Brunson, graduate student from Gilbertsville, Kentucky, said she is happy the bridge is coming along, but closing the bridge is going to reroute many people traveling to work.

“It’s going to be inconvenient and frustrating for anyone traveling in that direction during the week,” Brunson said. “But, any time they choose to place the arch will be inconvenient, but it does mean the bridge is one step closer to being completed.”

Todd said the Lake Barkley Bridge will have four lanes of travel and is expected to have all lanes of traffic running in early 2019, but two lanes of traffic should be moving in early 2018.