With a loud boom, the old Lake Barkley Bridge came down early Wednesday morning.
Many lined the sides of the lake or watched in boats as they waited for the fall of the bridge.
Russ Fish, who lives near the lake, said this was the second time he got to see a bridge explosion. His first was Eggners Ferry Bridge when the old one was taken down in 2016. But to him, the Lake Barkley Bridge was different. He was able to be a lot closer.
“You could feel the thunder when it went off, so it’s pretty cool,” he said, adding the echoes were a lot louder. “It was pretty spectacular.
Fish also won’t miss the old bridge.
“I’ve always worried about hitting mirrors going across,” he said.
Safety wise, drivers don’t have to worry nearly as much when traveling across the new bridge. Fish has been pretty excited for the new bridge, eagerly awaiting for it to open.
Even with just two lanes open, Fish found it more convenient and beautiful to look at.
“Now it’s really going to be nice for the people around here,” he said, adding that everyone who crosses the bridge will be able to do so more safely.
Fish is one of regular travelers who passes over the bridges at least weekly. He added he also won’t miss seeing the bridge.
“It was time. It was getting to be a little bit of an eye sore,” Fish said.
He added they probably didn’t keep up with it because they knew they were replacing it.
“But I won’t miss the potholes and the constant maintenance on it and the old rusting steel structures that were there,” he said.
He is also looking forward to the walking path and hopes they light the bridge up like the new Eggners Ferry Bridge.
Tom Patterson, who grew up in a house on the edge of the lake came back to see the bridge come down. His nephew now owns the house he grew up in.
With the bridge that he grew up looking at every day, Patterson says it’s amazing.
“The part that was really shocking was the size of the bridges,” he said.
The old bridge, thinking about how big it looked, then comparing it the new bridge, that was more massive.
“It’s modern times. It’s going to help our community and stuff life that,” he added.
He drives to Murray two times a week across the new bridge. He now enjoys the new bridge, along with Eggners Ferry Bridge. He said it is a great experience to cross both of them.
As for crossing the old bridge, he said he was crossing it is whole life.
“So I got used to it. It’s like going down a little old trail. You just got to get used to it,” Patterson continued.
As for next time he looks at the bridges, he decided he just has to get used to not seeing now and move on.
Reach Meredith Willse at 270-887-3262 or email@example.com.