Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Weisenberger Mill Bridge project delayed again, and will probably be delayed yet again for federal historic review

The bridge has been closed since July 1 for safety reasons.
The planned replacement of the bridge across South Elkhorn Creek at Weisenberger Mill has been delayed, and will probably be delayed again, until next year.

The State Historic Preservation Office and the Kentucky Heritage Council wanted a more detailed study of the bridge and the nearby area, and the federal Advisory Council for Historic Preservation will have to review what the state reports say, said Ananias Calvin, project engineer for the state Transportation Cabinet.

"That's going to add some time," Calvin told the Midway Messenger. "We're looking at some different properties we hadn't looked at before," to include the bridge's viewshed, the area that can be seen from it.

The project plan requires purchase of small amounts of property, and the cabinet can't do that until the historical reports have been reviewed.

Calvin said the cabinet had already delayed the bid-letting date for the project to June, and then moved it to October, and will probably have to delay it again. "We won't know how far until we get the environmental documents," he said.

The cabinet wants to build a two-lane bridge to replace the one-lane span built in 1932. In addition to the historical objections, some neighbors of the bridge say a two-lane span will only attract more traffic and speeders, a dangerous prospect since the Woodford County end of the bridge has a sharp curve.

The bridge was closed July 1 after state inspectors found it was in danger of collapse. The weight limit had been lowered to three tons, but it continued to attract heavy trucks looking for a shortcut to Interstate 64.

"I think there's more people not happy about that [the lack of a span at the site] than are not happy with the design we're incorporating," Calvin said.

The bridge is on a county road, but the state took responsibility for its replacement several years ago as part of a trade in which Woodford County did some work on a state road. Under a prior agreement with Scott County, Woodford has underlying responsibility for the bridge.

No comments: