Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KTC) officials say the US 119 bridge at Mayking is in worse shape than expected and construction will take longer than expected to complete.
What started as a routine bridge deck overlay has changed to a complete superstructure replacement. When state inspectors analyzed the Mayking bridge deck after asphalt was removed, they discovered that deterioration of the structure was much worse than it appeared when the deck overlay was approved.
“Our project at Mayking on US 119 was originally set out to just take off the top inch and a half of the surface because it had deteriorated quite badly,” said Chuck Childers, Whitesburg section engineer for KTC Highway District 12. “In the process of doing that and replacing some of our expansion joints, it was brought to our attention that something was really wrong with this bridge. There seemed to be some seams in it that were allowing water to flow through the deck, which is not our intention and in the process it was allowing our steel in the deck in places to rust.”
Childers said plans were changed to correct problems with the bridge.
“We’re going to take off half of the bridge,” said Childers. “The part that is already closed off , we are going to cut it off down to the piers and rebuild it back up from there and open it back up to traffic some time possibly in the first of the year.” Childers said in April the same work will be done to the other side of the bridge.
“In the spring, possibly in June, you will have a new bridge deck to ride on and we will feel confi- dent that it is safe for you all,” said Childers.
KY 3410, which runs under the bridge from mile point 1.424 to mile point 1.350 will be closed during the construction.
“Motorists can take a short detour on KY 1862, which can be used as an alternate route from either end,” Childers said. “We apologize for any confusion about this project. We just simply realized that putting a new asphalt overlay on the bridge deck would not be enough to guarantee the safety of the structure. So we are rebuilding it from the piers up. Safety is our first priority, and we thank everyone for understanding that this temporary inconvenience is necessary.”