Explosive demolition of old Lake Barkley Bridge, new bridge back open

Old KY bridge to be demolished (Source: KYTC)
Old KY bridge to be demolished (Source: KYTC)
Old KY bridge to be demolished (Source: KYTC)
Old KY bridge to be demolished (Source: KYTC)
Old KY bridge to be demolished (Source: KYTC)
Old KY bridge to be demolished (Source: KYTC)

CADIZ, KY (KFVS) - The old U.S. 68/KY 80 Lake Barkley Bridge at Canton was demolished Wednesday, April 11 at 7:20 a.m. The new US 68/KY 80 Lake Barkley Bridge has reopened to highway traffic.

Keith Todd with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said there were horn blasts that will provide an additional indicator that the blast is approaching.

Before the main blast there was a smaller blast designed to scare away any Ospreys or other birds that might be perched on the old bridge.  This smaller noise blast will preceeded the main demolition by about 20-30 seconds.

River traffic will also be halted for up to 24 hours the day of the blast. During the closure, drivers should self-detour via Interstate 24. This detour will add about 40-miles to a trip between Cadiz and Murray.

This closure of the new bridge is expected to start sometime between 6:30-9 a.m.

According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said explosives will be used to bring down the spans.

A demolition crew removed the concrete deck from the 86-year-old structure earlier in March.

Once the main steel truss structures are dropped into Kentucky Lake, cranes will move to the site to remove the fallen steel according to officials. The Coast Guard requires the contractor to clear the main channel within 24 hours to minimize disruptions to commercial river traffic.

KYTC officials said the new U.S. 68/KY 80 Lake Barkley Bridge is located at U.S. 68 milepoint 8.596 in Trigg County. This is 9 miles west of Cadiz and serves as the eastern entrance to Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. The bridge is at Cumberland River navigational milepoint 63.1.

The new bridge was opened on February 12 to two-way traffic. This will become the eastbound lanes, construction of a multi-use path, completion of permanent roadway connections, painting of the main arch, and other finish work will continue along the new bridge for the next year according to the KYTC.

The new Lake Barkley Bridge is expected to be ready for four-lane traffic late this year.

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