Transportation officials say they won’t hit the Nov. 15 target date for re-opening the “Blue Bridge” in downtown Owensboro. But Kevin McClearn with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says the extra work this month will reduce the number of traffic disruptions next year.
Crews have been re-painting the bridge and repairing beams, joints and concrete on older sections of the bridge deck. No timeline was announced for re-opening the bridge, but crews are expected to continue working for a “few more weeks”, trying to take advantage of milder weather.
The bridge has been closed since mid-May. When open, an average of 8,500 cross the Blue Bridge each day.
Kevin's audio feature about the 8th annual Bill Monroe Style Mandolin Camp in Owensboro
On an unseasonably cool Friday afternoon in Owensboro recently, the sounds of an unusual summer camp were being heard in the city's downtown.
About 50 campers from across the country--and some from other countries--were in Daviess County to learn the finer points of one of the great instruments of bluegrass music during the eighth annual Bill Monroe Style Mandolin Camp.
Held at the International Bluegrass Music Museum, the camp is a three-day affair focusing exclusively on the instrument Bill Monroe played as he gained the reputation of being the "Father of Bluegrass Music."
"This is the only camp that I know of that specializes specifically on mandolin style. And it's no other instruments--it's all mandolin players, all Bill Monroe, all the time," says Mike Compton, the camp's director.
Compton is a Mississippi native who now lives in Nashville. He says it's an honor to be a part of a camp that pays tribute to an American musical genius.
Even those who don't consider themselves bluegrass fans are likely familiar with the name Bill Monroe. The Rosine, Kentucky, native gained acclaim for his technical wizardry on the mandolin, inspiring legions of fans throughout the U.S. and beyond.
A spectator has been killed and two others injured during a crash at a raceway in western Kentucky.
Daviess County Coroner Jeff Jones told the Messenger-Inquirer that 21-year-old Ryan Peters died Sunday night from injuries suffered when a car hit him after crashing at the Windy Hollow Raceway. Jones said several spectators in the pit area were struck.
Two others were taken to Owensboro Health Regional Hospital with injuries, but information on their conditions hasn't been released.
The Daviess County Sheriff's Department said emergency crews were called to the track after two cars apparently crashed and one hit the wall in a turn before striking spectators in the pit.
The Sheriff's Department is investigating the incident.
The repainting of Owensboro's "Blue Bridge" is running ahead of schedule. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Keith Todd says the original plan called for the bridge to be closed until late this year to allow painting to be completed on the main truss of the span, which connects Daviess County to southern Indiana.
"We think we'll be finished with the main truss around the middle of next week," Todd told WKU Public Radio Friday. "That will allow them to turn around and then begin painting the approach spans."
Todd says two full work crews have worked a combined twelve hours a day, seven days a week throughout the summer to get the main bulk of the work done on the span officially known as the Glover H. Cary bridge.
The contractor is hoping to have the approach spans painted before November 15th, when the bridge is set to re-open. An estimated 8,500 vehicles cross the Owensboro Blue Bridge daily.