Governor Beshear Announces Start of Construction on Replacement of County and State Bridges Damaged by Flooding in Eastern Kentucky

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The State will replace nearly 200 bridges

FRANKFORT, Ky. (September 2, 2022) – Governor Andy Beshear announced today that the Kentucky Cabinet of Transportation (KYTC) has begun construction to permanently replace county and state bridges damaged by devastating flooding in the east from Kentucky at the end of July.

Priority projects include publicly owned crossings that have been damaged or destroyed and where driver access is significantly limited or eliminated.

The firm will replace or repair more than 170 bridges in eastern Kentucky that were damaged by flooding. They are bridges serving state and county roads and are among nearly 1,100 sites assessed for damage by KYTC inspectors after the July floods. Of the 170 bridges already identified for replacement or repair, approximately 100 require complete replacement or replacement of the bridge superstructure, which is the area at the top of the bridge.

“Our crews moved with unprecedented speed to restore access where these bridges were the only way for many of our fellow Kentuckians to reach their homes,” Governor Beshear said. “We are using all the resources at our disposal to restore access. It’s a great example of how the Kentucky team is working day and night, not only to clean up, but also to rebuild what’s been lost. Residents need this critical access so they can return to their homes, their lives, and a sense of normalcy as we rebuild damaged infrastructure in Eastern Kentucky.

Currently, two permanent bridge replacement projects are under construction in Perry County. These are Dan Lane on Big Willard Creek and Macintosh Mt. on Little Willard Creek. Jave LLC, a Lexington-based contractor, began construction on both projects this week. They should be completed in less than 60 days.

The two bridges are among 33 structures initially targeted for rapid replacements in Perry, Knott, Pike, Letcher and Floyd counties. All bridges should be ready for construction by the end of the month and replaced by the end of the current construction season.

A team led by Central Bridge Co. and Bizzack Construction also accelerated work on a damaged bridge in Knott County that was already scheduled for replacement as part of an ongoing design-build project in eastern Kentucky.

In just over a month since the flood, KYTC and its partners have completed temporary crossings at 19 sites to restore vehicular access to homes that were cut off from their communities when bridges were damaged or destroyed during flooding. Construction of temporary crossings is underway or pending at seven additional sites. These temporary crossings, called diversions, usually consist of culvert pipes covered with a hard pad, allowing drivers to safely cross creeks and creeks.

In addition to rapid replacement projects, KYTC works with design consultants to assess needs and prepare plans for more than 60 bridge projects where significant damage has been identified. Highways Department staff and contractors are also working to repair damage to road approaches, retaining walls and embankments at dozens of other bridge sites.

To expedite the completion of projects, KYTC coordinated with contractors and suppliers to secure materials such as concrete and steel bridge girders, backfill, culvert pipes and other items needed for the construction of the bridge.

“KYTC has accessed every tool available to move these projects forward quickly,” said James Ballinger, state highways engineer. “We use our state forces and existing contracts with consultants for site survey, design and construction management, as well as existing and emergency contracts with contractors for construction and demolition. . Each of these partners is moving deliberately and with urgency, and our teams won’t let up until the job is done.

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