Steel truss floats up Cumberland River to attach to new U.S. 60 Cumberland River Bridge

Bridge steel truss passes by Paducah riverfront
Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 1:49 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 12, 2022 at 10:47 AM CDT
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LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Ky. (KFVS) - A 700-foot blue steel truss is floating upstream to be attached to the new U.S. 60 Cumberland River Bridge.

Steel truss floating on Cumberland River

LIVE: Steel truss to float up Cumberland River to attach to new U.S. 60 Cumberland River Bridge https://bit.ly/3RELqg6

Posted by KFVS-TV on Monday, September 12, 2022

The plan was developed by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Jim Smith Contracting, American Bridge and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The operation is scheduled for Monday, September 12, 13 and 14.

“This is a significant step toward completion of the new bridge,” KYTC District 1 Chief Engineer Kyle Poat said. “Jim Smith Contracting, American Bridge, and the numerous agencies that are involved in supporting the movement and placement of this truss will be putting in hundreds of hours in coming weeks to assure that everything goes as planned.”

The truss will float 14 miles upstream near the mouth of the Cumberland River in Livingston County.

The 700 foot truss will be floated up the river for installation.
The 700 foot truss will be floated up the river for installation.(American Bridge)

The truss is expected to leave the Paducah Riverport between 8 a.m. and noon.

Crews are preparing a 700-foot blue steel truss for its floating trip upstream. The truss will...
Crews are preparing a 700-foot blue steel truss for its floating trip upstream. The truss will be attached to the new U.S. 60 Cumberland River Bridge.(Source: KFVS/Mike Mohundro)

The trip is expected to take about 4 hours.

On Tuesday, the truss will be jacked to where it can be placed on the main piers of the bridge structure.

The truss weighs 5.2 million pounds and will be raised approximately 90 feet.

The public can view the truss process on Monday from noon to 4 p.m. and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the north end of the new bridge.

KYTC crews will provide directions for parking and access.

Spectators are urged to bring a lawn chair, sunscreen and to be prepared for warm conditions.

“Raising the truss about 90 ft. into the air so it can be placed on the main piers is expected to take most of the day on Tuesday,” said Poat. “This is going to be a long-haul event. As the old saying goes, it will be much like watching paint dry.”

Traffic on the existing U.S. 60 Cumberland River Bridge, at Smithland, will be restricted to one lane with an automated signal starting around noon on Monday. It will remain restricted until the placement of the truss is completed.

The new bridge is expected to take 6 to 8 months and open to traffic in late spring of 2023.

It will be 40-foot-wide and two-lane deck with 12-foot driving lanes and 8-foot shoulders. KYTC says this will allow clearance for most farm equipment to cross without stopping oncoming traffic.

Final roadway driving surface and finish work is expected to be complete by December 1, 2023.

Jim Smith Contracting is the prime contractor for the $63.6 million project.

Demolition of the old bridge is expected to take place sometime in April to May.

According to KYTC, the new bridge will provide a significant and critical connection for U.S. 60 through western Kentucky. The Cumberland River splits Livingston County, and the bridge is the only direct link for local commuters, commerce, school buses and first responders.

A 700-foot blue steel truss will be floating upstream Monday, Sept. 12 to be attached to the...
A 700-foot blue steel truss will be floating upstream Monday, Sept. 12 to be attached to the new U.S. 60 Cumberland River Bridge.(Source: KFVS/Mike Mohundro)