Kentucky Inspects Bridges

By Sarah Goebel | 

The bridge collapse in Minnesota has many states across the country inspecting their bridges including right here in the Commonwealth .

Governor Ernie Fletcher has directed the Kentucky Transportation Dept. to ensure the structural integrity of several bridges throughout the state.

Three of them are right here in South-Central Kentucky.

"If we were building that bridge today we would build it very differently," said Keith Todd, with the Ky. Transportation Cabinet.

This bridge crosses the Green River in Ohio County. The state has labeled it functionally obsolete.

"You'll find bridges that have a load limit posted at the end of the bridge. That's an indication that it is okay for passenger vehicles, but not loaded 18-wheelers," Todd explained.

Two other bridges in Muhlenberg County also crossing the Green River are also labeled the same.

Keith Todd from the transportation cabinet says many bridges in the state were built in the 1930s and are structurally deficient, but that doesn't mean they're unsafe.

"It never hurts to go back and inspect those in case they do miss something," he said.

In fact, Todd also said the ultimate test of bridge safety is if he would allow his own family to drive on them.

"I drive across them all the time now. I cover 23-counties and I've probably driven across all three of those bridges with in the last sixth-months," Todd assured.

The reason these bridges were chosen to be re-inspected is because they're heavily traveled.

"A lot of them are over the Ohio River and these three are over the Green River which are considered major crossings," Todd said.

Most bridges in Kentucky are inspected every two-years and some once a year. Todd said these bridges are being re-inspected just in case and there is no reason to be afraid to drive on them.

"The fact that this is getting so much media coverage is because a bridge collapsing is so rare," Todd added.

If repairs need to be made, Kentucky will use federal and state money to fund it, which of course is paid for by our taxes.

For more information on which bridges are being re-evaluated in Kentucky, click here.

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