2017-07-12 / Front Page

Bridge to be closed for repairs


CRUMBLING INFRASTRUCTURE — A textbook example of our nation’s crumbling infrastructure can be found here in Letcher County, at the Redstar Bridge between Blackey and Ulvah. The bridge, which literally has holes in it, is scheduled to be closed for repairs daily beginning July 26 and ending August 1. CRUMBLING INFRASTRUCTURE — A textbook example of our nation’s crumbling infrastructure can be found here in Letcher County, at the Redstar Bridge between Blackey and Ulvah. The bridge, which literally has holes in it, is scheduled to be closed for repairs daily beginning July 26 and ending August 1. The bridge on KY 7 in Letcher County between Ulvah and Blackey (better known as the Redstar bridge) will be closed to all traffic from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. each day starting Wednesday, July 26 and continuing through Tuesday, August 1.

Shane Allen, bridge engineer for the Kentucky Department of Highways’

District 12 office in Pikeville, said the structure needs extensive patching work to fix places where the pavement is broken or cracked.

“There are a couple of places where there are actually holes in the bridge with rebar exposed,” he said. “The only way we can make the repairs properly is to close the bridge to traffic while we are working.”

Allen said he knows the closing will be “inconvenience for people who use the bridge regularly,” but said “those are the very people who know that these repairs need to be made before school starts and before cold weather sets in this winter.”

Allen said that steel plates have already been installed to cover the worst spots. Those plates will be used to cover the work areas during the night and on the weekend once repairs begin. The bridge will be closed only during work hours on weekdays. It will be open to traffic at night and on the weekend.

“We want to thank everyone ahead of time for their patience and understanding,” Allen said. “Even though it will take a few days to make these repairs, and this will be an inconvenience for people who use the bridge every day, the result will be a much safer structure for everyone.”

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