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News Item #1537
[US 60]
Field Survey Work Begins in Preparation for US 60 Cumberland River Bridge Replacement
Posted: 20-Jul-2015 1:37PM CDT

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Department of Highways has begun field survey work in preparation for planning a replacement of the US 60 bridge over the Cumberland River.

From the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet:

US 60 Cumberland River Bridge in Livingston County

Field survey work starts for planning of new U.S. 60 Cumberland River Bridge in Livingston County
Engineers examining issues that may impact future construction

Paducah, Ky. (July 17, 2015) – With construction funding for a new U.S. 60 Cumberland River Bridge at Smithland becoming available in 2019, consultants for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) have started a number of field activities that will help direct the design of a new structure.

According to KYTC District 1 Chief Engineer Mike McGregor, consultants are fanning out around the existing bridge to examine a variety of factors.

“We’ll be looking at anything and everything that might need to be considered in the planning, design and placement of a new river crossing,” McGregor said.  “We’ll have teams identifying and evaluating archaeological sites, looking at cultural and historic buildings that might be in or near the construction zone and checking the bottom of the river for the presence of mussels.  We’ll also have some survey crews checking property lines and the location of utilities.”

Letters have been sent to property owners in the area to alert them to the presence of engineering survey teams and their potential activities.

The Transportation Cabinet had a public meeting in June 2013 to discuss a scoping study that served as a kick off to the planning process.  At that time, KYTC engineers emphasized that it would take years of planning and design work leading to eventual construction of a new bridge.  Funding for construction of a new bridge is listed in the Kentucky Six Year Road Plan for 2019.

The U.S. 60 Cumberland River bridge at Smithland, also known as the Lucy Jefferson Lewis Memorial Bridge and the Smithland Bridge, is at U.S. 60 Livingston County mile point 12.348.   The existing 1,817-foot through-truss structure was opened to traffic in 1931.  About 5,500 vehicles cross the bridge in an average day.

Efforts to replace the 84-year-old structure took on additional urgency after construction of the new U.S. 60 Tennessee River Bridge at Ledbetter was expedited after structural issues on the old bridge lowered the weight limit to three tons.

“The Smithland Bridge is a critical part of life in the region and in Livingston County.  With Livingston County split in two by the Cumberland River, the bridge connects the northern half of the county with the southern half.  School bus traffic running across the bridge ties the school system together, so it is critical that we stay on mission to replace or upgrade this bridge,” McGregor said.

Much of the study and survey activity will be away from the existing roadway and should have no impact on traffic crossing the existing bridge.  McGregor expects the engineering survey work to take about three weeks.

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Updated: 20-Jul-2015 1:37PM CDT

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