Sen. Joey Pendleton expects Gov. Steve Beshear will announce plans today to repair, not replace, a Kentucky bridge damaged by a cargo ship recently.
The Hopkinsville Democrat said Tuesday he spoke with the governor recently about the plan for the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge and it appears engineers are suggesting fixing the nearly 80-year-old bridge.
Pendleton did not sound very excited about the idea, but said “We’ve got to get something done” for people who are now forced to drive around Kentucky Lake.
Many local and state officials have said it was time for a new bridge after the Delta Mariner, a 312-foot boat carrying rocket parts, destroyed a 322-foot span of the bridge. However, Pendleton believes Beshear’s update will not include any immediate plans for a new bridge.
Instead, the plan will include “drilling down” into the riverbed to construct a new pier that will support the new span, Pendleton said. He thought it would be billed as a quick fix, but admitted there was talk it could take 18 months before the repairs are complete.
Officials from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, U.S. Coast Guard and several other agencies have examined the bridge since the Jan. 26 crash. KYTC spokesman Keith Todd recently told the New Era the state was considering a wide array of options before it whittled down the list to about six ideas.
The U.S. Coast Guard is still investigating the cause of the wreck, and has not released any details of its investigation.
Beshear’s announcement is slated for 11:30 a.m. today near Golden Pond.
REACH DAVE BOUCHER at 270-887-3262