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Author Topic: Eggner's Ferry Bridge Collapse in western Kentucky (US 68/KY 80)  (Read 1329 times)

Sherman Cahal

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The 3,495-foot Eggner’s Ferry Bridge, designated as U.S. Route 68 and Kentucky State Route 80, opened to traffic on March 25, 1932 and was raised in 1943 as part of the Kentucky Lake project. On January 26, 2012, at 8:10 PM CST, a 322-foot section of the bridge collapsed after being struck by a tow-boat barge.

A dive team from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plan on installing sensors on a damaged pier of the bridge that will detect the degree of tilt and can detect movement. While emergency inspections found the western half of the span to be in stable condition, the a pier on the eastern span was moved out of position.

There are more questions now than ever on the future of the out-of-commission span. As Eggner’s Ferry Bridge was slated for replacement with a tied-arch bridge design, is it feasible to complete repairs to the pier and install a new superstructure if it is expected that it will be demolished shortly after? How seriously will the bridge, which is indefinitely closed, affect local businesses? What role did the navigation lights on the bridge have in the incident?

On Saturday and Sunday, I traveled to western Kentucky to photograph the span.

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Further Reading
a. Eggner's Ferry Bridge in Photographs: http://bridgestunnels.com/2012/01/30/eggners-ferry-bridge-in-photographs/
b. Bridge Collapses in Kentucky: http://bridgestunnels.com/2012/01/27/bridge-collapses-in-kentucky/
c. Eggner's Ferry Bridge (US 62/KY 80), with replacement span images: http://bridgestunnels.com/bridges/kentucky/eggners-ferry-bridge/
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AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Eggner's Ferry Bridge Collapse in western Kentucky (US 68/KY 80)
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2012, 12:27:49 AM »

It is crazy how the former bridge deck lays curled like a blanket over the barge.  Interesting photos, thanks for posting.

JREwing78

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Re: Eggner's Ferry Bridge Collapse in western Kentucky (US 68/KY 80)
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2012, 07:34:32 AM »

There's so much *facepalm* in that story. The barge pilot who apparently had no idea where he was piloting it. The fact that Kentucky had lighting repairs scheduled the next day (but apparently let enough go dark that barge traffic couldn't maneuver under it correctly). The fact it was so dark drivers almost went off it after the barge strike.

And, in this day and age, why wasn't GPS involved in navigation? Certainly, it would at least allowed the operator to be under the correct section of the bridge, in the navigation channel.
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brianreynolds

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Re: Eggner's Ferry Bridge Collapse in western Kentucky (US 68/KY 80)
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2012, 08:44:43 AM »

Really fine pictures Sherman.  Thanks for sharing.

Anybody have updates on a February meet at this site?

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Brian Reynolds
Hastings Michigan
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Sherman Cahal

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Re: Eggner's Ferry Bridge Collapse in western Kentucky (US 68/KY 80)
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2012, 12:28:02 PM »

Thanks guys.

@JRE: I noticed that some of the lights were operational on the span, and can be seen in the first photograph. A few may have been out, but the Coast Guard posted a bulletin so that all ships traveling through were aware of the situation. This is a fairly common occurrence, and any experienced driver of a ship should have known how to navigate when a light or two was out. They didn't just miss the main navigation channel - they veered off course into the recreational navigation channel!
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brownpelican

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Re: Eggner's Ferry Bridge Collapse in western Kentucky (US 68/KY 80)
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2012, 02:04:48 PM »

How can the pilot of that boat/ship NOT know he wasn't heading toward the highest part of the bridge?  :confused:
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txstateends

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Re: Eggner's Ferry Bridge Collapse in western Kentucky (US 68/KY 80)
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2012, 06:13:17 PM »

I assume the future replacement will be high enough to clear boats/barges like this? (I hope :confused: )

No sense in fixing the old, when it's so close to time to start putting in the new bridge.  Amazing and fortunate for those few on the bridge that night that no one ended up in the water.
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Mr_Northside

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Re: Eggner's Ferry Bridge Collapse in western Kentucky (US 68/KY 80)
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2012, 07:11:34 PM »

I think that qualifies as a "Failboat".
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Alps

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Re: Eggner's Ferry Bridge Collapse in western Kentucky (US 68/KY 80)
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2012, 07:53:50 PM »

Really fine pictures Sherman.  Thanks for sharing.

Anybody have updates on a February meet at this site?

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Brian Reynolds
Hastings Michigan

Watching news of when the boat moves, but I might be down there this Saturday for some photos. I won't really have time for a meet during the day, but plan to eat dinner in Paducah that night.
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