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Bridging Kentucky Program Highlights Widespread Need to Restore Critical Structures

Bridging Kentucky Program Highlights Widespread Need to Restore Critical Structures

Bill Stephens, Web Editor

October 29th, 2018

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Program team meeting with industry leaders to prepare for major construction

FRANKFORT, Ky. (October 29, 2018) – A new list naming the more than 1,000 bridges being restored through the state’s Bridging Kentucky program illustrates the range of needs to repair and replace bridges throughout the Commonwealth. The list was released following Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) meetings with industry stakeholders across the state and evaluations of more than 1,100 structures.
Bridging Kentucky is one of the nation’s most aggressive bridge rehabilitation and replacement programs and represents an unprecedented commitment by Gov. Matt Bevin and the Kentucky General Assembly to improve the safety and soundness of bridges throughout Kentucky. This list of critical structures includes state, county and municipal bridges that are rated in poor condition or have restricted weight limits. More than 60 of the bridges on the list are currently closed to traffic.
“This innovative program will restore bridges from Paducah to Pikeville,” said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Greg Thomas. “We’re off to a great start determining where the most pressing needs exist, and the evaluations tell us what intervention is right for each bridge. Restricted bridges in the program will reopen to school buses, emergency vehicles, commercial trucks and motorists that rely on them every day.”
The full list of bridges is available at http://www.BridgingKentucky.com, and it currently includes 1,055 structures that will be addressed over the next six years. More than 40 percent of the bridges will be rehabilitated to extend their life by at least 30 years. Nearly 60 percent of the projects will be new bridges that will last at least 75 years.
The program’s initial focus will be to rehab or replace more than 340 bridges identified by the Kentucky General Assembly in the current two-year transportation budget.
About two dozen bridge projects have already moved to the construction phase since the program was launched this summer. Another 10 bridges will be ready for construction before the end of the year, and KYTC has plans to prepare more than 400 bridges for construction by the end of 2019.
“That amount of work represents a significant uptick in construction activity for bridges in Kentucky,” said Royce Meredith, KYTC’s Bridging Kentucky Program Manager. “This is an aggressive program, and we are using new and innovative approaches to get the work done in a timely and cost-effective way.”
Industry forums seek input from potential partners
Last week, KYTC representatives discussed the Bridging Kentucky program with industry officials during a forum in Elizabethtown. Similar events are planned in four other locations in late October and early November.
The goal of the forums is to inform and collect important feedback primarily from contractors, subcontractors, disadvantaged business enterprises and utility firms that may participate in the six-year program. Through these conversations with industry stakeholders, KYTC and the Bridging Kentucky program team expect to gain insights that will help efficiently manage the unique program and educate businesses about the business opportunities being created by the $700 million bridge program.
“This program will support thousands of jobs across the Commonwealth for construction workers, equipment operators, engineers and other professionals,” said Secretary Thomas. “We want to be sure the industry understands what is needed to get the job done and how they can help drive progress.”
Future meetings will take place in the following cities:
Tuesday, Oct. 30 in Madisonville
Wednesday, Oct. 31 in Covington
Thursday, Nov. 1 in Somerset
Friday, Nov. 9 in Paintsville

Additional information about the forums, including times and locations, can be found on the Bridging Kentucky website under the Meetings and Events tab.
Learn more about the program
Bridging Kentucky has launched a website and social media channels to share additional information about the program. The site, http://www.BridgingKentucky.com, provides an overview of the program, a list of frequently asked questions and the full list of bridges that will be addressed through the program.
Additional updates on Bridging Kentucky will be shared on social media channels:
Facebook: facebook.com/BridgingKentucky
Twitter: twitter.com/BridgingKY
Instagram: instagram.com/BridgingKY

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