Commuters in the Daviess County region will be able to cross the Ohio River “Blue” bridge over the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has announced that the bridge will reopen November 27, the day before Thanksgiving.
The Blue Bridge has been closed to traffic since May while it received a fresh coat of paint. Some work will continue on the Indiana side of the bridge after it reopens, but the contractor is confident the painting will be completed in the next two weeks.
The 4,600-foot bridge connects Owensboro to southern Indiana and is used by an average of 8,500 vehicles a day.
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.
Emil's feature on the Owensboro Dragon Boat Festival
As early-morning fog gave way to a clear blue August sky, 30 teams dressed in bright-colored t-shirts climbed into narrow wooden boats, adorned with a dragon head in the front. The teams paddled out to the starting line in the middle of the Ohio River.
Todd Petzold expressed cautious optimism as his team prepared to participate in the Owensboro Dragon Boat Festival for a second straight year.
“We’re team MPD, and we’re not going to sink this year. And we’re going to have fun,” said Petzold.
The teams were made up of between 15-20 people, including men and women. Their experience level ranged from veteran to novice.
They’re taking part in an athletic event and tradition whose origins date back to the year 278 B. C. in China and a man considered the father of Chinese poetry, Qu Yuan.
The long-term transit needs in Owensboro will be the subject of a final report issued next week at City Hall.
The Corradino Group will present its final report on the study which makes proposals to improve Owensboro’s transit options. The Messenger-Inquirer reports a public hearing will be held Thursday, August 1, where Owensboro residents can comment on the study’s findings.
Owensboro transit manager Michael Hughes has said the study will recommend that the city’s transit system expand to eight routes from six, with all routes taking no longer than half-an-hour to complete. The study is also expected to call for the city’s bus system to expand its coverage area and include new transfer points that would allow riders to reach their destinations more efficiently.
The public hearing on the transit plan is August 1 at 11 a.m. in Owensboro’s City Hall.
A one-room schoolhouse in Owensboro has been added to a national database of schools built for black children in the early 20th century.
The schoolhouse is in Pioneer Village at Yellow Creek Park. It was one of 5,357 public schools, manual training shops and teacher cottages built in the South with grants from the Rosenwald Fund between 1912 and 1932.
A total of 158 of them were built in 41 Kentucky counties.
Fisk University in Nashville maintains a database of Rosenwald Schools around the country.
Friends of Pioneer Village Executive Director Sean Dysinger told the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer the head of the project at Fisk thought the Owensboro school had been torn down, which is why it wasn't included on the list until now.