The Panther Creek bridge in southern Daviess County has suffered another impact resulting in the indefinite closure of the bridge. The structure was hit by an oversized load that damaged every crossmember along the top portion of the bridge. Traffic on KY 81 will be routed along a marked detour.
At this time, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has no information in regards to the driver of the vehicle or the time the crash occurred. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact KYTC at 270-339-2787 or the Kentucky State Police at 270-676-3313.
Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly addressed the incident during Thursday’s Fiscal Court meeting, saying the bridge could be closed longer than when it was damaged toward the end of 2019. He said further inspections will determine whether the bridge can be repaired like last time, or if it should be replaced.
County Engineer Mark Brasher said funding would be an issue.
Mattingly said it was his intention to declare a state of emergency on KY 81 so the process can be expedited.
The bridge was closed for roughly three months when it was severely damaged in August 2019 after the beams were struck by scrap steel hanging off the trailer of a passing commercial truck. It reopened in late November.
A contractor replaced portions of the sway bracing on the bridge while other sections were heat-straightened back into shape. The sections of the bridge that were damaged were also repainted.
Judy C. Harp Company completed the repairs as part of the $327,000 contract.