After delaying opening of the New U.S. 68/KY 80 Eggners Ferry Bridge, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet engineers say moving 2-lane traffic to the new structure is back on for Friday afternoon.
The bridge was originally scheduled to open Friday morning. However, it is now scheduled to open between noon and 3 p.m.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet reported weather and a number of other factors combined would delay the opening for a few days.
However, the contractor and bridge design engineers worked overnight to finish critical items needed to open the bridge, including adjusting the bridge support cables.
According to KYTC District 1 Public Information Officer Keith Todd, they concluded only two of the cables would require adjustments.
"Once engineers calculated the remaining cable adjustments, they concluded the work could be completed in a matter of hours instead of days. That put us back on track to get the new bridge open today," Todd said. "Fairly calm winds in the forecast for this morning also made it possible for adjustments on the final 2 cables to be completed by about Noon, today."
Todd says he now anticipates 2-lanes of traffic can be moved to the new bridge by mid-afternoon.
No formal ceremony is planned for this initial move to 2-way traffic. Officials are planning a public event when the bridge eventually opens to 4-lane traffic later this year.
Rain and windy weather had hampered progress this week as the contractor focused on finishing concrete barriers, installing guardrail end treatments, diamond grinding the deck driving surface, completing a final inspection of paint, as well as checking tension on the deck support cables.
The contractor expects to start removing the deck from the old bridge within about a week of established 2-way traffic on the new bridge. An explosives team plans to be at the site next week for initial survey work to help with the demolition planning on the old bridge.