Preparation is under way for a new $1,008,059 bridge over the Poor Fork of the Cumberland River at Collier’s Creek Road (KY 3404) in Letcher County.
The old bridge will remain open while the new one is under construction. “This is a busy area,” said Heath Holbrook, Highway Technician Assistant with District 12’s Whitesburg Section Office. “… The contractor will wait until the new bridge is open before tearing down the current bridge. That way the traffic impact should be minimal.” The exact location is mile point 0.782 on KY 3404, 100 feet south of US 119.
Holbrook said the northbound lane of KY 3619 (old US 119) in the work zone area will be closed during the days the new bridge beams are delivered and set in place. That should happen the first part of March. “The construction timetable is weather dependent,” he pointed out.
In fact, although the construction company, Frederick and May of West Liberty, has 100 working days to finish the project, and the count on working days does not start until April 1, officials from the company intend to finish the new bridge around the end of May.
The project is part of the Bridging Kentucky initiative that includes more than 1,100 state, county, and municipal structures rated in poor condition or with restricted weight limits. More than 70 of the bridges on the list are currently closed to traffic. Each bridge will be addressed in by the end of 2025, either replaced with a new structure designed to last at least 75 years or rehabilitated to extend its life by at least 30 years. Those with restricted weight limits will reopen to school buses, emergency vehicles, commercial trucks, as well as passenger vehicles.