Tentative demolition date set for old U.S. 60 Cumberland River ‘Smithland’ Bridge

The date for the explosive demolition has been tentatively set for October 20.
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 2:27 PM CDT
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LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Ky. (KFVS) - A tentative demolition date has been set for the old U.S. 60 Cumberland River “Smithland” Bridge.

According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, they along with Jim Smith Contracting and a demolition subcontractor set the date for an explosive demolition for around October 20.

They said the schedule could vary based on weather when explosives are placed on the bridge in the last few days of blast preparations.

According to KYTC, prep work includes saw cutting of the concrete decking on the main span of the 92-year-old bridge started the week of September 18. The removal of the decking from the through-truss main span will take several weeks.

Once the deck is removed with heavy equipment, a subcontractor will cut key areas on the main truss before placing explosives to bring down the truss and approach spans.

The explosive crew plans to take down the truss and approach spans at the same time.

They say a prep crews started putting protective barriers on the truss to prepare for the installation of explosives immediately before demolition.

The explosive demolition of the old bridge in late-October will require crews to close the new bridge for several hours and require commercial tow boat and pleasure boat traffic to be halted for about 24 hours on the Cumberland River.

According to KYTC, once the main truss is dropped into the river, a crane mounted on barges will remove pieces of the steel truss from the river so the pieces can be recycled.

The demo team will then start to remove the concrete piers.

The new Cumberland River bridge, also known as the Jim R. Smith Memorial Bridge and the Smithland Bridge, opened to traffic on May 15.