Flood damaged bridge collapses

GRAVES COUNTY, KY (KFVS) - A flood damaged bridge in Graves County, Kentucky dropped 10 feet sometime on Saturday, June 25 or on Sunday, June 26.

According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) an employee went to check on KY 2141 Bridge in the Leeder Bottom Area of Graves County due to high water from heavy rainfall and discovered the damage.

Bridge inspectors will check out the bridge on Monday morning to assess the new damage and determine whether the bridge can be repaired.  The bridge is on KY 1241 near the 10 mile marker just south of the Graves-McCracken County line.

The bridge has been closed since April 25 when inspectors found that a section of the bridge dropped about 4 inches.  Bridge inspectors believe debris from flash flooding caused damage to one of the bridge piers.

KYTC crews barricaded and a raised rock pile block the roadway to the bridge in order to keep vehicles off the bridge.

Even with the bridge closed, Transportation Cabinet authorities say ATV riders are driving over and around barricades to cross and go under the bridge.

KYTC want all vehicles to stay off the bridge until it is repaired or replaced due to the possible collapse of the structure.

The bridge is scheduled to be replaced in the next few years, but engineers are looking into ways to make that happen sooner than later.

The 160 foot 3-span bridge was built in 1927. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet inspectors looked at about four other bridges of similar design and construction to see if they are showing any signs of stress from recent heavy rains. They checked out OK.

Due to the length of this bridge KTC estimates a one to three year timeline to design and construct a replacement structure. The estimated replacement cost would be more than $1 million.

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.