The lighting of the bridge in downtown Owensboro may not happen by Christmas as originally planned, but City officials are working to get a new date for the bridge lighting in place.
The bridge lighting was set to occur in early-to-mid December, though an issue with higher-than-expected construction bids and transportation issues have slowed the process down.
Assistant City Manager Lelan Hancock said three bids for light installation ranged from $2.1 to $4 million dollars — much higher than the projected $800,000-$900,000 the bridge lighting project was expected to cost.
Even more, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) put stipulations on labor for the project, requiring workers on the bridge to work hours between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., slowing the construction process down even further. A longer timeframe for those installing the bridge lighting would mean more money spent, Hancock said.
“Contractors brought up issues with the equipment [as well],” he said. “The conduit and controllers of the lights, how we can get the cabling and controls [installed].”
Fixing that single issue could put the project below the $2 million mark, Hancock said.
Lighting the blue bridge gets complicated when it comes to working with different state-level departments and organizations along the way.
“Any deviation from the original plans has to be approved by the transportation cabinet,” he said.
Hancock said he’s working consistently with KYTC and contractors who’ve placed bids to get the price point down and push the bridge lighting project forward. Hancock said he hopes to have more answers in the next couple of days, with hopes that working hours on the bridge can be extended and the transportation cabinet will approve one lane being closed down on the bridge during part of the construction process.