Construction of the west span of Ky. Ahead of schedule
By TOM LATEK, Kentucky today
PADUCAH, Ky. (KT) – Despite a delay due to spring flooding in western Kentucky, construction of the new US 60 Bridge over the Cumberland River in Smithland, Livingston County continues to be ahead of schedule. calendar.
Jim Smith Contracting, prime contractor for the $ 63.6 million project, began footers for the main pillars of the new bridge, and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 1 chief engineer Kyle Poat said the The company had postponed the start of footers for the main pillars well after the spring flood season to reduce the risk of flooding on the job site.
âThese main pillars are closest to the riverside,â Poat said. “While this work started about a month later than planned, the piling team made up for lost time.”
Piles are huge pipes driven into the ground to help create a deep foundation to support the bridge. KYTC project manager Austin Hart says it’s hard to imagine their size until you see them up close.
âAlso called drilled wells, these massive pipes are 80 feet long and 8 feet in diameter and are basically screwed into the ground,â Hart said. âOnce they’re in the ground, the soil inside is excavated, a pre-assembled reinforcing steel cage is lowered inside the piling, and then it’s poured full of concrete. It provides the basis for the main pillars.
Hart said three of the eight main jetty wells on the Smithland side of the river have been completed, while three of the eight main jetty wells on the north side of the river have been started.
âWhen all eight wells are completed on each side, the base of the main pier will rest directly on these structures,â Hart said. âIn mid-August, we plan to start construction of the main pillars. They should emerge from the base we are currently building and be visible above ground by September, with the completion of the main pillars expected by the end of the year.
Steel for the main farm is expected to arrive this summer. The 700-foot main span will be assembled off-site, starting this fall, then barged to the construction site and in place in the fall of 2022.
The construction schedule calls for the movement of traffic to the new bridge in the spring of 2023.
The new bridge will have a 40-foot-wide two-lane deck with 12-foot traffic lanes and 6-foot shoulders, allowing motor vehicles to share the bridge with most farm equipment.
It will replace the Lucy Jefferson Lewis Memorial Bridge, built in 1931.