State Waits on Feds to Approve Bridge Blasting
By West Kentucky Star Staff
PADUCAH, KY - Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials are waiting for the U.S. Coast Guard to approve a plan to use explosives to bring down what's left of the old Ledbetter bridge.
KYTC spokesman Keith Todd said workers continue to make progress with removal of the decking down the approach span on the Livingston County side, which he said should take about a month to complete. He says once the plan for explosive demolition of the superstructure is approved, crews will take about two weeks to prepare what's left of the bridge for demolition. "We're going through the process of awaiting approval of the demolition plan," Todd said. "The Corps of Engineers wants to take an extra look at it. We don't know how long that's going to take."
Todd said once federal officials sign off on the demolition plan, it shouldn't take long for crews to get ready for blasting work to begin. "Once we get approval from the Corps of Engineers, and then what they submit is approved by the Coast Guard, probably within a couple of weeks we could have something set up and be ready to go to remove some of the superstructure over the river," Todd said.
In April, a section of the west approach on the bridge dropped several feet due to land movement along the bluff on the McCracken County side of the river. Due to the continued land slippage along the bluff, one land-based approach pier and two approach spans at the west end of the bridge collapsed in the early morning hours of June 22, prompting engineers to expedite demolition of the structure.