Although an Interstate 24 bridge in western Kentucky was soon deemed safe and reopened, we commend the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for taking no chances and closing the bridge to traffic for what proved to be a brief time.
The two westbound lanes of the bridge across the Tennessee River in Livingston County were closed Tuesday after an inspection found a “possible crack” in a beam. However, the bridge was reopened after additional inspections revealed what appeared to be a crack was only markings made by dust and water, said Transportation Cabinet spokesman Doug Hogan.
So did the Transportation Cabinet overreact by closing the bridge? Not in our book. It made the right decision in choosing safety over convenience.
To be sure, the closing of the bridge on the interstate that runs between Nashville and St. Louis caused some inconvenience to motorists. After all, some 27,000 vehicles a day use the bridge and those vehicles had to be temporarily rerouted. That caused some delay as two lanes of interstate traffic were funneled onto a single lane of a two-lane highway.
Gov. Ernie Fletcher ordered inspections of all Kentucky bridges after a Minnesota bridge collapsed earlier this year. The possible crack in the beam was discovered as a result of those inspections.
The “crack” proved to be nonexistent, but until state officials were sure the bridge was safe, they were wise to keep traffic off of it.
The (Ashland, Ky.) Independent