Final section of structural steel removed from Old Ledbetter Bri - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Final section of structural steel removed from Old Ledbetter Bridge

(Source: KYTC) (Source: KYTC)
(Source: KYTC) (Source: KYTC)
(Source: KYTC) (Source: KYTC)
(Source: KYTC) (Source: KYTC)
LEDBETTER, KY (KFVS) - The final section of structural steel on Old Ledbetter Bridge at Paducah was taken down by a crane Monday morning.

The contractor in charge of demolition took down steel girders on the final two sections of bridge approach at the east end of the structure in Livingston County, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. A demolition crew spent about an hour placing rigging on the girders along the two spans, lifting the steel off the piers, and moving it aside before allowing it to crash to the ground.

A second truss section of the Old Ledbetter Bridge was brought down using controlled explosives on Sept. 24.

About 500 people gathered on Sept. 16 to watch the first detonation from a public viewing area on another bridge.

A track hoe mounted with a shear snipped away at the steel from other approach spans that were brought down last week.

The contractor is continuing an engineering analysis and planning to remove the four main river piers that supported the bridge's main truss sections.

The contractor tentatively plans to drill into the piers to prepare to place explosives in the coming weeks. The contractor plans to remove the top half of two of the piers with controlled explosives, followed by the top half of the other two piers. The contractor would then come back to take off the bottom of two piers, followed by the bottom of the other two, according to KYTC.

The impact of third explosive blast on Oct. 1 that brought down the main navigation span caused the two river piers that supported it to rock over, leaving cracks in both. That may require the demolition team to make some adjustments in planning for the next round of controlled explosive demolition.

The contractor will be meeting with KYTC engineers to determine if any adjustments need to be made in plans to take out the river piers. The contractor has a goal of completing all demolition on the old bridge by about Dec. 1.

The Old Ledbetter Bridge opened to traffic in 1931. US 60 traffic moved to the new bridge on July 31, 2013.

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