By Portia Williams
FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. — According to reports from Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) District 9 in Flemingsburg, Ky., the Carl D. Perkins Memorial Bridge, which has been closed for painting, is expected to re-open ahead of the Nov. 15 contract deadline, but it will not open Friday, Oct. 30, as the contractor and state engineers had hoped.
According to Allen Blair, public information officer of the KYTC District 9, said rain has caused the delay of the Carl Perkins Bridge re-opening. Blair also said additional time is needed to apply a new protective coating for 6,000 feet of concrete rails on the bridge, which spans the Ohio River to connect Greenup County with Portsmouth, Ohio.
All painting and cleanup work by contractors is expected to be finished late next week or early the following week, but a date for reopening is contingent upon the weather. Once a date is determined, it will be announced. Motorists should watch message boards and detour signs for changes.
The nearly $7 million Kentucky Transportation Cabinet project to paint the Perkins bridge’s 600,000-square-foot steel superstructure began in April. The bridge was closed to traffic to speed the project. Retaining a lane of traffic would have extended the project to a year or longer.
The new paint will protect and preserve the bridge for about 35 years for the thousands of travelers who use it daily to cross from KY 8 and U.S. 23 in Greenup County to U.S. 52, Ohio 73 and U.S. 23 in Portsmouth, Ohio.
The current detours remain in operation:
All traffic between Kentucky and Ohio remains detoured across the U.S. Grant Bridge (US 23) – the Ohio Department of Transportation’s nearby cable-stayed bridge to downtown Portsmouth – along these routes:
— Traffic on KY 8 East or US 23 North in Kentucky: Cars and commercial trucks should follow US 23 North across the Grant bridge, then either turn left on Second Street to access Ohio 73 to West Portsmouth-Hillsboro and US 52 West toward Cincinnati or veer right to stay on US 23 North (Gay Street) toward Columbus or to access US 52 East toward Ironton.
— Traffic in Ohio on US 23 South or US 52 West coming from Columbus or Ironton: Cars should follow existing signs for US 23 South (Washington Street) to the Grant bridge; commercial trucks should use the existing US 23 Truck Route, follow existing “Kentucky” signs, then detour via Ohio 73 East to Second Street to the Grant bridge.
— Traffic in Ohio on US 52 East, Ohio 73 or Ohio 104 coming from Cincinnati, Hillsboro or West Portsmouth: Follow existing “Kentucky” signs or US 23 Truck Route signs to detour via Ohio 73 East to Second Street to the Grant bridge.
All wide load truck traffic is being detoured across the Ohio River at Huntington, W.Va., to connect between US 52 in Ohio and US 23 or I-64 in Kentucky and West Virginia.
Find more information about District 9 online at http://transportation.ky.gov/district-9. Navigate traffic with KYTC, http://511.ky.gov, and Waze, http://waze.com.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.