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The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to replace the New Glendale Road bridge overpass at Western Kentucky Parkway and construction bids should open later this month after numerous collisions limited the bridge’s clearance capacity.
Chris Jessie, public information officer for the cabinet’s District 4 office in Elizabethtown, said the bid process is expected to open by March 20 and construction should start this summer, closing New Glendale Road for up to 75 days.
Jessie said summer is targeted for the work to lower the impact on school traffic. If conditions permit, Jessie foresees construction wrapping up shortly before school returns to session or soon after.
Jessie said the state has not worked out all details on detours. Most local residents know what alternative routes can be accessed during the closure, but he said the cabinet will launch a marketing campaign closer to construction to assist drivers.
“We will have an official detour announced for residents needing to travel into E’town,” Jessie said in an email. “They will be able to use the U.S. 31W Bypass.”
The estimated cost of the project is unknown. Jessie said he could not release engineering estimates until the bidding process ends.
“Obviously, it defeats the competitive bidding process,” he said of revealing the costs.
The overpass has been reduced to one lane since November when a commercial vehicle carrying an oversized load scraped the underside of the bridge. Temporary signals have been utilized since the damage was done, allowing for alternating one-way traffic, Jessie said. In a news release, Jessie said the November crash has made the bridge “the subject of quick planning.”
According to Kentucky State Police, who investigated the bridge collision, the semi-truck’s load was too tall to pass under the overpass, causing the damage. No injuries were reported in that crash.
Jessie said the overpass has taken abuse for years from numerous strikes.
“The solution is replacement,” Jessie said. “That’s really the only alternative we have.”
Jessie said the new bridge overpass will be similar in size to its predecessor. Numerous factors have been considered during the design phase, including bridge approaches, width and height requirements and adjacent entrances.
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or email@example.com.