The bridge at Maloneton, south of the Bennett’s Mill Covered Bridge, is undergoing finishing touches, while the one at Plum Fork, north of the covered bridge, saw construction start June 9 and the work was expected to take 21 days to complete, said Allen Blair, spokesman for the cabinet’s District 9 headquarters in Flemingsburg.
Ky. 7 has been closed nearly three weeks between South Shore and Ky. 10 (the AA Highway).
The two landslide areas included in the project to be repaired, neither of which have closed the highway, are at Maloneton and at the top of Morton Hill just south of South Shore. That work has not yet started.
Money for the landslides and the two bridges was included in the legislatively enacted state road plan/budget, said state Rep. Tanya Pullin, D-South Shore, before the tight 2010-2012 budget was approved.
“The bridge contracts were let last year, but the highway department didn’t want to have construction going on when school was in session and school buses were running. That was the reason construction didn’t start until June 9 of this year, after school finished, Pullin said.
She said people have been calling her to find out when Ky. 7 will be reopened and why there are no signs posted warning motorists of the closing.
“There are detour signs posted on U.S. 23 at South Shore and on Ky. 10 south of the covered bridge,” Pullin said.
All through traffic is being detoured along Ky. 10 and U.S. 23, Blair said.
“Motorists have had to adjust travel plans accordingly,” he said.
“These projects create construction jobs in our area and improve this major road that needed improvements,” Pullin said.
She said $930,000 has been allocated for construction on the two bridge projects.
Crews with Frederick & May Construction Co. were the ones who began June 9 replacing the culvert-style bridge that carries Ky. 7 traffic across Plum Fork Creek just north of the covered bridge.
The projects will also straighten a tight curve on Ky. 7 at Maloneton.
The bridge south of the covered bridge is over Beechy Creek. While major work there has been completed, crews will continue roadway paving, earth work and guardrail installation at Beechy Creek while completing the Plum Fork project.
The project also includes elimination of the steep curve on Ky. 7 just south of the AA Highway.
G. SAM PIATT can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.