BROOKPORT, IL (KFVS) - The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is looking information about damage to the U.S. 45 Ohio River “Brookport” Bridge sometime in the last two days.
The structural damage prompted engineers to restrict the bridge to a 20-ton load limit.
Inspectors found something had hit a portion of the bridge superstructure.
Engineers believes a truck crossed the bridge with an oversized load and struck the bridge support beam in the last two or three days, according to KYTC.
The damaged beam is on the upstream side of the second span from the Kentucky shore. Several additional structural members along the northbound lane showed signs of being hit.
The damage occurred to a “compression member” of the structure. Had the damage been to a “tension member” of the structure it could have caused a failure of the span similar to the May 23, 2013, collapse of the Skagit River Bridge near Burlington, Washington.
With the 8-feet width restriction and 20-ton load limit on the Brookport Bridge traffic will be restricted to nothing larger than a small box truck.
Anyone with information about the damage is asked to come forward.
The U.S. 45 Ohio River Bridge is scheduled to be closed for about a month this summer to allow the City of Paducah to construct a tunnel under U.S. 45 for the Greenway Trail. KYTC engineers plan to use that closure to further evaluate the damaged beam and plan any needed repairs.
The 10-span bridge carries about 5,000 vehicles across the river each day between Paducah, and Brookport, Illinois.