New bridge symbolizes step forward in flood recovery

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 5:31 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MCROBERTS, Ky. (WYMT) - Letcher County community members had to create a makeshift crossing in the early hours of July 28, 2022, after flood water destroyed the original bridge connecting Neon and McRoberts.

After a six-month project and around 350 yards of concrete funded and constructed by the state, a new bridge is now built.

“I never would have dreamed it would have been that fast, but they took care of it, and that was impressive,” said John Barker, whose property connects with the bridge.

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four

Barker said the new bridge is more equipped than the crossing destroyed by flood water.

“Well, it’ll handle more water, and the bridge is now turned on a different angle than the old bridge was. So, that lets the water go straighter,” said the McRoberts community member.

Barker’s property was damaged as the flood water tore apart the bridge. He watched the water take out chunks of land closer and closer to his house before it stopped short of the building.

The state filled his yard with dirt and grass, where he will now build a garage he has wanted to store items.

“I got vehicles. I got old cars and trucks. A place to play, hide my stuff,” he said.

Barker said community members feel safer living in the community with a wider, more equipped bridge.