Public asked to stay off new U.S. 60 Tennessee River Bridge - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Public asked to stay off new U.S. 60 Tennessee River Bridge

Crews worked on the bridge. (Source: KYTC) Crews worked on the bridge. (Source: KYTC)

The public is being asked to stay off the new U.S. 60 Tennessee River Bridge at Ledbetter.

Several people were reported hiking and riding all terrain vehicles in the bridge construction zone over the weekend.

The contractor and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet have asked the Kentucky State Police, the Livingston County Sheriff, and McCracken County Sheriff to assist with keeping people out of the work area.

Someone called the KYTC District 1 office on Monday asking about moving a mobile home across the new bridge. When the caller was told the bridge wasn’t open, he said there were plenty of photos out on social media showing people on the bridge. Workers have also reported people driving up into the work area to take pictures and ask questions, creating a distraction for construction personnel.

Any unauthorized personnel in the work zone can be charged with violating traffic control and trespassing in the 2nd degree.

By the middle of next week transportation officials might be able to calculate when the bridge might open and maybe even set a specific date for the start of 2-lane traffic, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Crews are still working to complete the construction of several hundred feet of outside barrier wall on each side of the bridge, the entire center line barrier wall, and installation of massive finger joints at each end of the main truss.

Drivers are reminded to use caution while traveling U.S. 62 at McCracken County mile point 13.588 at a former crossover for Ashland Road. A sub-contractor is installing a traffic signal at what will eventually be the new intersection of US 60 and US 62 at the end of the bridge.

In November 2012, transportation officials negotiated a $3.8 million incentive package with the contractor to get the new bridge opened to two-way traffic ahead of the scheduled July 2014 opening date.

Starting May 1, the state has deducted $19,000 per day, or $791.66 per hour from the incentive fund. If two-lane traffic is not running on the new bridge by Sept. 1, the contractor will not receive any of the incentive package.

Accelerating completion of the new bridge was considered the best option after the load limit on the existing 82-year-old bridge had to be reduced to three tons in January 2012. The load limit restricts the aging structure to passenger vehicles and unloaded standard pickup trucks.

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