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OWENSBORO, Ky. – The “Blue Bridge” in downtown Owensboro is expected to reopen to traffic Nov. 27, in time for the Thanksgiving Holiday.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet engineers have worked with Spartan Contracting over the last week to determine the amount of work remaining to complete painting of the bridge so a specific opening date could be set.
Kevin McClearn, chief engineer for the cabinet’s District 2, said the Nov. 27 opening is reasonable based on the remaining work.
“This is just 12 days beyond the original expected opening on Nov. 15,” McClearn said. “This allows all work to be completed this year and gets the bridge open in time for Thanksgiving holiday traffic. Since we announced the closure was being extended, we’ve worked closely with the contractor to set an opening date. We’re confident the touch-up and other finish work can be completed by Nov 27.”
McClearn noted some work will likely continue under the Indiana end of the bridge after that date, but the contractor is confident all painting can be finished this year, completing the project more than 11 months ahead of schedule.
The contractor brought in extra crews this fall to complete the two-year project in one construction season. Over the last few months, inspectors had asked for an extra $150,000 in needed repairs to a number of beams and joints. They also ordered additional concrete repairs on older sections of the bridge deck
The bridge has been closed for painting since May 13. Engineers were unable to provide a specific opening date when they extended almost two weeks ago the closure beyond Nov. 15. Within a few days of the Nov. 27 opening date, McClearn said the contractor should be able to provide an approximate time it will open.
Spartan Contracting, LLC, of Ohio, is the prime contractor on the $10.07 million painting project, which is jointly funded by Kentucky and Indiana. Originally scheduled for painting in 2017, local lawmakers advanced funding for the painting project in the Kentucky road plan.