Cumberland River Bridge Closures Start Friday
By West Kentucky Star Staff
LIVINGSTON COUNTY - A contractor will close the Cumberland River Bridge at Smithland each night for two weeks while repairs are made. 

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials say the work will begin on Friday, November 1. The closure will start at 8 pm each night and end at 5am. During the day, the bridge will be open with a reduced speed limit. 

Portable message boards will notify drivers of the closures. 

A detour via U.S. 641, I-24 and KY 453 creates a 74-mile trip. Overnight or early-morning drivers traveling between Paducah and Livingston or Crittenden County should expect an additional hour or more of additional travel time. Some commuters may choose to stay with a friend or relative in Paducah or southern Livingston County rather than take the lengthy detour. 

KYTC engineers and the contractor are working on contingency plans to deal with possible emergency scenarios, such as medical emergencies requiring ambulance service to Paducah.

The repair involves replacing a beam that has been damaged by overweight trucks. Load limits have recently been reduced until repairs can be completed.

The current load limits for trucks crossing the bridge is as follows:

• Type 1: 17 tons—Two axle single unit trucks

• Type 2: 18 tons—Three axle single unit trucks

• Type 3: 20 tons—Four axle single unit trucks

• Type 4: 32 tons—Five axle SEMI trucks

• Single Unit Vehicle with five axles: 22 tons

• Single Unit Vehicle with six axles: 22 tons

• Single Unit Vehicle with seven plus axles: 24 tons 

The KYTC is also in the final design phase for the construction of a new bridge immediately downstream. The new $45 million bridge remains on track for bidding in February 2020, with construction expected to take just over two years.

Published 02:59 PM, Monday Oct. 28, 2019
Updated 09:34 AM, Tuesday Oct. 29, 2019



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