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Bridge Nightmare: One year later

January 31, 2013 News

More than a year ago, on Jan. 26, 2012, the Delta Mariner, struck a portion of the Eggners Ferry Bridge that stretches over Kentucky Lake.

In the dark of the night repair crews from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Marshall County Rescue Squad, Kentucky State Police and the Coast Guard reported to scene and worked throughout the night to re-route traffic, and start planning the future of the bridge.

A large gap on the eastern portion of the bridge remained over a secondary channel of the lake while state officials scrambled to find repair funds. In March, Gov. Steve Beshear told a crowd at the Kenlake State Resort Park Lodge the bridge would be restored before Memorial Day.

While at the lodge Beshear said: “Since the night the bridge was struck and the highway was severed, we have worked with one thought in mind – to get this bridge repaired and route 68/80 reopened as quickly as possible,” Beshear said. “We have never lost sight of the damage that the loss of this bridge is doing to area businesses and the toll it has taken, in time and fuel cost, on folks who have been forced into long detours to get from one side of the lakes to the other.”

An emergency contract to repair and reopen the damaged Eggners Ferry Bridge was established and plans were announced for the bridge to reopen by May 27. The KTC accepted a $7 million bid proposed by Hall Contracting of Kentucky, Inc., and a penalty included a fine of $50,000 for each day past the May 27 deadline.

Less than six months after the accident, the 300-foot span of the bridge collapsed was replaced.

Last semester, Mark Welch, director of community relations and public information, said the repair to the bridge has been invaluable to Murray State’s retention. He said life was easier for many commuters and tourists to the area because of the repair.

The US 68/KY 80 Eggners Ferry Bridge is at the western entrance to Land between the Lakes National Recreation Area. The Bridge carries approximately 2,650 vehicles across Kentucky Lake per day.

The morning the bridge reopened, there was a celebration where thousands of people came to walk or bike across the newly repaired structure. By that afternoon, the bridge was open to traffic.

For past articles on the Eggners Ferry Bridge click here.

 Staff Report.

BUILDING BRIDGES Officials: Lakes project underway

December 6, 2012 News, Slider Featured stories

The construction of two new bridges over the Kentucky and Barkley lakes is expected to begin early next year.

In October, Gov. Steve Beshear announced plans to push forward construction to begin before he leaves his position in 2015.

The plans for the new structures are currently in the design phase, but once completed, both bridges will match the four-lane U.S. 68/Ky. Hwy. 80 widening project that has been underway in the region for much of the last decade. Additionally, they will feature stronger trusses and safer guardrails than the two existing bridges connecting the Jackson Purchase region to greater western Kentucky.

The two platforms are expected to be almost identical in the unique basket-handle tied arch design made popular in several Japanese bridges.

The bridge to be built over the Kentucky Lake will replace the Eggners Ferry Bridge at the western entrance to Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area after it was re-opened in July – six months after the Delta Mariner, an 8,200-ton cargo ship, struck the bridge in January, displacing a span.

The conceptual rendering above features the unique basket-handle tied arch design that will replace the Eggners Ferry Bridge over the Kentucky Lake in the coming years. An identical bridge will couple over Lake Barkley. || Concept photo courtesy of the KyTC

The bridge should be completed by 2016.

The structure’s contract includes a basket-handle arch, approach spans to the arch, final roadway construction and a multi-use path.

Keith Todd, public information officer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, said the plans for the new bridge over Kentucky Lake are in progress and construction should begin soon on the first phases of the bridge.

“The first sign of work on that project will be an approach bridge that will cross the lagoon next to the existing bridge at Aurora (Ky.),” Todd said. “This will extend over the lagoon to give the contractor access to the main lake for construction to eventually begin on the actual lake crossing.”

Todd said finishing the approach span will give KyTC officials a better idea of how and when to undergo the substantial build process.

The second step will include construction of the main span arch bridge, the bridge approaches and all final roadway paving. Design completion for this initial phase of work is expected to begin in early 2014.

“I just want to remind people that building a bridge doesn’t happen overnight,” Todd said. “It takes years of planning and permit work. It’s a major project and it’ll move forward depending on the weather and money.”

He said he expects to have a start date on the lagoon bridge in the next month or two.

Officials from the KyTC manage the Lake Bridges Project. These officials will oversee work completed by the engineering consultant team of Michael Baker Jr. Inc. and Palmer Engineering.

The second bridge over Lake Barkley replaces the Lawrence Memorial Bridge. It too does not match the U.S. 68/ Ky. Hwy 80 widening project, lacks shoulders and adequate resistance strength.

Construction of the new bridge over Lake Barkley is expected to begin in late 2014. That bridge is expected to be complete by 2017.

The bridge has two lanes with steel beams and trusses. It’s owned and maintained by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Story by Meghann Anderson, Assistant News Editor.

Bridge repairs to finish on schedule

According to information provided by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Hall Contracting of Kentucky Inc. located in Louisville, Ky., hopes to have the replacement span for the Eggners Ferry Bridge assembled and ready for transportation by next week.

Officials from the contracting firm said the progress of the structural steel for the new span continues as it is being assembled at the Eddyville Riverport in Eddyville, Ky.

Over the past weekend, workers assembled the flooring frame of the new truss section and assembled the deck support structure. Workers also completed part of the upper truss.

They have continued placing and assembling steel flooring supports for the replacement span throughout the week. Once the steel beams were temporarily bolted into place, workers went back and permanently attached the floor beams to the structure’s other elements.

After total assembly of steel for the new truss span is complete, it will be placed on a barge to be transported to the site and placed on the existing piers. On Wednesday the crew placed two concrete pedestals on the pier cap on the Trigg County side of the bridge. The concrete will need to cure for several days. Workers poured the concrete for the Marshall County side of the bridge on Thursday. … Continue Reading

Beshear outlines bridge construction measures

April 26, 2012 News

Gov. Steve Beshear addresses a group of city and University officials who gathered at Calloway County High School Wednesday to dedicate a citywide sidewalk initiative allowing those high school students easier access to downtown Murray. || Kylie Townsend/The News

Gov. Steve Beshear visited the Lyon County Riverport Authority in Eddyville, Ky., Wednesday to discuss details regarding repairs to the missing span of the Eggners Ferry Bridge.

The Delta Mariner ocean vessel, struck the bridge on Jan. 26., demolishing a 322-foot portion of the bridge.

The site in Eddyville, Ky., will play host to the assembly of the steel truss, which will be used for a replacement span to temporarily repair and reopen the bridge.

Hall Contracting of Kentucky Inc. crews are fabricating the steel at the company’s main site in Louisville, Ky., and will ship them to the Lyon County Riverport for assembly.

Once completed, the truss will be transported by barge to the bridge and attached via crane.

The contracting agency has a deadline of May 27. Beshear reiterated his emphasis on the deadline to assure traffic was restored for the summer tourism season in western Kentucky. … Continue Reading

Coast Guard, Safety Board hold Eggners Ferry Bridge hearings

April 19, 2012 News

The United States Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board convened for a special series of public hearings this week. Their inquiries were focused on the deteriorated conditions of the navigation lights on the Eggners Ferry Bridge and the navigational abilities of the Delta Mariner crew.

Hearing Officer Lt. Salinas called upon Thomas Hines, transportation engineer supervisor of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, to answer questions about light maintenance on the bridge. Hines is responsible for 12 counties in western Kentucky.

During his interview, Hines said that before the Delta Mariner hit the bridge in January, another towboat, Miss Katie, struck the bridge. … Continue Reading

KTC begins bridge analysis, repairs

April 19, 2012 News

Photo courtesy of Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Crews have begun work on the Eggners Ferry Bridge almost three months after the 2,800-ton Delta Mariner NASA cargo ship collided with the main span, causing a 322-foot bridge section to collapse.

Several tons of twisted steel and roadway came crashing atop the ship and into the Kentucky Lake that night, leaving the bridge impassible and surface damaging the Delta Mariner.

Weeks later, the cargo vessel was moved upstream for repairs, but the bridge, a main traffic artery between extreme western Kentucky and the rest of the state, lay injured and untouched until now.

Early last week, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials began surface preparations to temporarily replace the missing bridge span. The work comes a month after Gov. Steve Beshear visited the bridge site and announced the acceptance of a $7 million bid proposal for repair work from Hall Contracting of Kentucky Inc. to complete work on the bridge by Memorial Day weekend.

… Continue Reading

Beshear: Bridge repairs to be completed by May 27

March 8, 2012 News

Meghann Anderson
Staff writer

Chris Wilcox
Staff writer

Chris Wilcox/The News

Gov. Steve Beshear announced Thursday at the Kenlake State Resort Park in Hardin, Ky., that an emergency contract to repair and reopen the damaged Eggners Ferry Bridge has been established.

On the night of Jan. 26, the bridge was struck by the Delta Mariner, a cargo vessel, which tore away a 322-foot stretch of bridge.

The repairs to the damaged bridge are to be completed by Memorial Day, if not, penalties will be issued by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The penalty includes a fine of $50,000 for each day past the May 27 deadline.

The KTC accepted a $7 million bid proposed by Hall Contracting of Kentucky Inc. … Continue Reading

Bridge determined structurally sound

February 23, 2012 News

Austin Ramsey
News Editor

The piers adjacent the 322-foot missing section of the Eggners Ferry Bridge are structurally sound, state officials announced late last week.

At a news conference in Frankfort, Ky., Friday, Gov. Steve Beshear told reporters there was “no significant damage” to the piers, following a Kentucky Transportation Cabinet investigation led by Chief District Engineer Jim LeFevre.

On Jan. 26, the Delta Mariner, an 8,600-ton ocean-going vessel carrying rocket parts collided into the bridge, bringing debris onto the ship and the surrounding water.

The ship, on its way to Cape Canaveral, Fla., waited with the wreckage on its bow for nearly two weeks, before the KTC assisted a local company in removing the fallen tresses. The U.S. Coast Guard gave the ship the go-ahead to dock in Paducah, Ky., where Foss Maratime (the ship’s owner) workers repaired the ships bow. … Continue Reading

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