US 68 Now Open at Barkley Bridge
By West Kentucky Star Staff
CANTON, KY - UPDATE:
The US 68/KY 80 Lake Barkley Bridge at Canton in Trigg County is now open to vehicular traffic. The bridge reopened to traffic about 12:45 AM this morning.
The jacking towers used to lift the 550-foot long arch into place on the New Lake Barkley Bridge have been removed, allowing the existing bridge to be opened to normal traffic flow.
Lake Barkley itself and the navigation channel remain closed to both commercial tow boat traffic and pleasure boat traffic at the work site.
Engineers and contractors closed US 68 and KY 80 at the old Lake Barkley Bridge at Canton, as the massive 550-foot "basket handle" span is maneuvered into place on the new bridge.
The final "go" decision on the move was made about 6:30 am. The main consideration was the wind, which was under 3 miles per hour this morning. Winds over 15 mph would have caused a delay in the project.
Once the green light was given, the Coast Guard closed the navigational channel under the bridge at 7 am, and KYTC stopped highway traffic at 9 am.
Moving the main arch into place with barges and a crane is expected to take 10 to 14 hours. The existing bridge will have to remain closed until the crane can be removed, and Highway 68 could remain closed to traffic for up to 48 hours.
Meanwhile, the detour via Interstate 24, the Purchase Parkway, and US 641 will add about 26 minutes of driving time or 35 miles to a trip between Cadiz and Murray.
Opportunities for the public to watch placement of the arch are limited. The best place to watch will be in LBL, downstream from the bridges.