Planning Meetings for Wickliffe-Cairo Bridge Set
By WestKyStar Staff
WICKLIFFE, KY - The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has announced two public meetings to discuss options for improving or replacing the U.S. 51 Ohio River Bridge – also known as the Cairo Bridge – between Wickliffe, KY and Cairo, IL.
The meetings will be held in Cairo on Monday, May 20, from 4:00 – 7:00 pm at Cairo High School, 4201 Sycamore Street, and in LaCenter on Tuesday, May 21 from 4:00 – 7:00 pm in the Community Room of the Ballard Center, 547 West Kentucky Drive.
The public is invited to attend either meeting, as the KYTC is in a long-term planning process to identify preferred alternatives for the next phase of project development. No construction activities are planned at this time.
“The Cairo Bridge continues to be an important transportation link for nearby communities in Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri, as well as for cross-country travel,” said Mike McGregor, project manager for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “The goal of this study is to identify options for a constructible and affordable bridge that will maintain the reliability of this important crossing into the future.”
Possible options under consideration for the U.S. 51/U.S. 60/U.S. 62 river crossing include:
1) Rehabilitation of the existing bridge
2) Replacement of the bridge in its current location
3) Construction of a new bridge in a new location
The build options will then be weighed against the routine maintenance on the bridge with no major repairs (No-Build Option).
These planning efforts are being coordinated with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Project team members have been conducting traffic counts, evaluating bridge conditions, and investigating environmental and community resources. In addition, the team is reviewing and collecting data to develop options for the bridge.
”We look forward to discussing possible solutions for the U.S. 51 Bridge with the public and other project stakeholders--solutions that will maintain this important transportation connection,” McGregor added.
The Cairo Bridge Commission constructed the bridge and opened it to traffic on November 11, 1938, as a toll facility. The highway agencies of Kentucky and Illinois took over maintenance of the structure 12 years later. It carries about 5,400 vehicles per day across the Ohio River.