By Portia Williams
Motorists will soon regain access to The Carl Perkins Bridge. The bridge which has been closed to traffic since April 15, 2015, will reopen on Friday, Oct. 30, more than two weeks ahead of schedule.
The Bridge was originally scheduled to reopen Nov. 15, 2015.
Kentucky State Rep. Tanya Pullin said she has been in communication with Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) District 9 in regard to the Carl Perkins Bridge reopening.
“Here is what we are going to do,” Pullin said. “At two o’clock, is when we think it will be ready to open. I told the Kentucky Highway staff that we do not want to hold up traffic on that bridge for one minute, waiting for a ceremony, but they think it is going to be at two o’clock.”
Pullin said a segment of the road between the Grant and Carl Perkins Bridge will be dedicated to veterans.
“Also at two o’clock, the portion of the road that is between the Grant Bridge and the Perkins Bridge, which is concrete, is going to be named The Veterans Memorial Mile, so we will have the signs to unveil for that,” she said. “So, if everything goes as planned, at two o’clock we will have the ribbon cutting, open the traffic to the bridge, and unveil the sign.”
George Agelidakis, Quality Control/Safety Director for Vimas Painting Company, Inc., the company hired by the KYTC to complete the painting job, said crews have worked diligently to complete the work by the deadline.
“The bridge has been fully blasted and painted. I like to call it a battleship color, similar to battleship gray,” Agelidakis said. “It is federal standard color, which actually has a ten-digit number associated with it as well. We are little bit ahead of schedule. We have been here since April 15th, and we worked six days per week. The weather was outrageous this year, there was a lot of thunderstorms, and so we worked a lot of Sundays, 10 to 12 hours a day, just trying to get the work done within the deadline.”
According to Allen Blair, public information officer for KYTC District 9, generally, there is a 20 to 30 year life span on painting cycle.
“The paint may last longer than that, but generally try to stick with a 20 to 30 year painting cycle, depending upon the type of bridge, and this one is rather large,” Blair said.
Blair said the cost of the project to paint the Carl Perkins Bridge totaled $7Million dollars.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext.1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.