WKU Public Radio News Staff
Fri May 25, 2012
Eggners Ferry Bridge Opens In Time for Memorial Day Weekend Travel
The Eggners Ferry Bridge in Western Kentucky reopened Friday. Hall Contracting of Kentucky Inc. completed the emergency repairs on the bridge two days earlier than required, and the bridge opened to traffic at 1:05pm CDT.
The Eggners Ferry Bridge, which carries U.S. 68/KY 80 across Kentucky Lake, has been closed since it was struck by a cargo ship, the Delta Mariner, on the night of Jan. 26. A 322-foot-long span of the 80-year-old bridge was torn away.
“When the bridge connection was severed, it was imperative to restore this critical tourism and commerce link in the Kentucky Lake-Lake Barkley region as fast as we could,” said Governor Steve Beshear. “The plan to replace the missing span was aggressive. We are pleased the emergency repairs have finished ahead of schedule and especially by a Kentucky-based company.”
Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said restoring traffic to the bridge in 121 days took a phenomenal effort.
“We were very fortunate that there was no structural damage to the piers during the January 26 incident. This allowed us to focus on constructing a new span and getting it in place,” Hancock said.
The two-lane Eggners Ferry Bridge, which is the western gateway to Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, opened to traffic crossing the Tennessee River in 1932. Its elevation was raised in 1943 when the Tennessee River was impounded to create Kentucky Lake. A KYTC traffic count conducted in 2009 showed 2,650 vehicles per day crossed the bridge.