A construction worker has died following an accident at the site of the Owensboro “Blue Bridge” painting project. Daviess County Coroner Jeff Jones says the man—whose identity has not been released—died Monday evening after being taken to the Owensboro Health Regional Hospital.
Co-workers found the 35-year-old unconscious in safety netting at the work site. He was cut from the netting and taken to the hospital with burns on his hands, indicating that he may have come into contact with energized electrical wires on the bridge.
The contractor and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet safety personnel will conduct an investigation into the incident.
The Glover H. Cary Bridge—also known locally as the “Blue Bridge”—is closed until November while it gets a fresh coat of paint. The bridge connects Owensboro with southern Indiana, and is used by an average of 8,500 vehicles a day.
A contract has been awarded to an Ohio company that will be responsible for painting Owensboro's "Blue Bridge." The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced the winning $10 million bid placed by Spartan Contracting, LLC, was less than half of the engineer's estimate for the project.
The Glover Cary Bridge crosses the Ohio River and connects Owensboro and southern Indiana. Transportation Cabinet spokesman KeithTodd says the bridge is scheduled to be closed May 13-November 15 during the first phase of the painting project.
"The bridge was scheduled to be painted in 2017, and some of the community leaders in Owensboro wanted to go ahead and move up the painting date of the project. They have just completed a renovation of the Owensboro riverfront, and they wanted the bridge--which is right in downtown Owensboro--to get a new paint job," Todd told WKU Public Radio.
Kentucky and Indiana are splitting the cost of the project.
An estimated 8,500 vehicles cross the Glover Cary Bridge on an average day.
A rusting a faded bridge that connects Owensboro, Ky., to southern Indiana will close for around six months while it is painted.
The Messenger-Inquirer reports Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne made the announcement Monday during a speech at the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Payne said the $17 million paint job for the Glover H. Cary Bridge, known simply as the "blue bridge," would take up to two years if a lane is kept open for traffic, so officials decided to close it and get the job done quicker. He said the bridge would close in May after the International Bar-B-Q Festival and wouldn't "until they get it finished," which is expected to happen by November.
"I kind of like that," Payne said of the shorter schedule. "Knock it out all at one time."