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Posted: Tuesday, 11 February 2014 11:20AM

Bid Awarded For Kentucky Lake Bridge

A big step is being taken towards the construction of the new bridge across Kentucky Lake. Governor Beshear announced Tuesday that a contract has been awarded to build the first of the two new four lane bridges on U.S. 68/KY 80.

The 131.5-million dollar project was awarded by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to Johnson Brothers Corporation, of Fort Worth, Texas. Transportation Cabinet Spokesman Chuck Wolfe says they are unsure how quickly construction will begin.

The new bridge will replace the narrow and functionally obsolete Eggners Ferry Bridge, which was built in 1932, and has ceased to meet modern design standards for the amount of traffic it must accommodate. The Eggners Ferry Bridge, which joins Marshall County and Trigg County, has two lanes, each 10 feet wide, with no shoulders. The new bridge will have four travel lanes, each 11 feet wide, plus 4-foot shoulders and a 10-foot wide pedestrian/bicycle path. Wolfe says ultimately, the Lawrence Memorial Bridge on Lake Barkley, will also be replaced.

Transportation officials are aiming to award a contract for the second bridge by December of this year. In the Kentucky Lake region, approximately two miles of U.S. 68/KY 80 will be widened from two lanes to four lanes from Aurora, in Marshall County on the western shore, to just east of Kentucky Lake, where the project will connect to the four-lane roadway in the Land Between The Lakes.

In the Lake Barkley area, the project will widen approximately 1.5-miles of U.S. 68/KY 80 from two lanes to four lanes from just west of Lake Barkley to just east of the lake. Like the Eggners Ferry Bridge, the Lawrence Memorial Bridge, also built in 1932, no longer meets traffic demands in the region. Plans for the new bridge over Lake Barkley call for a design similar to that of the new Kentucky Lake bridge, with four traffic lanes instead of two, with shoulders and a bicycle/pedestrian lane.

The contract award is the second for the Kentucky Lake project, which consisted of two construction contracts. The first, awarded earlier this year to Jim Smith Contracting, of Grand Rivers, was to construct the fill for the western and eastern causeways in the location of the new bridge alignment. Part of the 25-million dollar project also included a new bridge over a lagoon on the west side of Kentucky Lake, just north of U.S. 68/KY 80 and adjacent to the Kenlake State Resort Park campground. Work is continuing on this portion of the project.

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