‘The impact should be significant’: Bridging Kentucky program aims to make travel safer

Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 9:25 PM EDT
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LETCHER COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Officials are taking initiative to make daily drives easier for people in the Commonwealth and those that travel across Campbell Town Road.

“This particular contract has 106 bridges in one contract and this is one of them in District 12,” District 12 Information Officer Sara George said. “We have 47 bridges in our seven counties of District 12 in just this one contract.”

Officials with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced on Friday that they are set to begin construction on several bridges in Letcher County. The investment totals millions of dollars.

“This is not the only contract in the Bridging Kentucky program that includes bridges for District 12, this is just the largest one because there are 106 bridges in this contract,” George said.” And the entire contract is worth 93 million-plus dollars.”

The process will not come without a few bumps in the road, however as structures like the Red Star Bridge near Blackey will impact school bus routes after the Transportation Cabinet enforced a three-ton limit.

“I wish it had started sooner so we wouldn’t have got in this position but obviously we have too much to take care of and not enough money,” District 12 Bridge Engineer Chris Allen said.

Despite that reality, Allen encourages those that may be concerned to keep their heads up.

“Obviously I know it’s a long detour out there for folks. That’s why we’re trying to keep the bridge at three tons instead of doing a closure,” Allen said. “That way at least passenger vehicles can still use it.”

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