Preparation for demolition of Old Ledbetter Bridge continues

Preparation for demolition of Old Ledbetter Bridge continues
(Source: Giacomo Luca/KFVS)
(Source: Giacomo Luca/KFVS)

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY (KFVS) - Detailed engineering analysis work is continuing toward the start of demolition on the Old Ledbetter Bridge the Tennessee River between Livingston County and McCracken County, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

They say a specialty demolition contractor plans to mobilize the week of July 7-12 with the start of some on-site demolition prep activity possibly as early as the following week.

Jim Smith Contracting may be working to improve equipment access and clearing of some brush on the McCracken side of the river to prepare for demolition to ramp up.

The bluff along the McCracken County side of the river has continued moving since the west approach spans dropped several inches on April 30, according to KYTC. The land slippage has since taken out one land-based pier and two approach spans it supported at the west end of the bridge.

While there has been no impact on truss spans that cross the river navigation channel, KYTC said another land-based approach pier and span are leaning and could fall at any time.

Transportation officials, emergency management and law enforcement continue to warn the public to avoid areas along the bluff near the bridge.

The Old Ledbetter Bridge has been closed since the end of July 2013 when U.S. 60 traffic was moved to the new bridge upstream.

Revised preliminary demolition plans for the 83-year-old structure were submitted to the USCG for review the first week in July. Due to the potential impact on barge traffic, KYTC said the demolition will require close coordination between the contractor, the Coast Guard and the marine industry.

KYTC said a detailed blasting plan will be submitted in the near future for Coast Guard reveiew.

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