Panther Creek Bridge opens to traffic

July 29, 2020 | 8:43 am

Updated July 29, 2020 | 9:27 am

File photo

The Panther Creek Bridge on KY 81 reopened Wednesday after surviving a second crash in as many years, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Both events created a strain for motorists who typically crossed the bridge to get to their destination, as the detour was somewhat lengthy. 

After the second incident on May 18, it was originally determined that the bridge would need to be replaced. Additional conversations among the engineers resulted in a solution to address the repairs that would also provide safe passage and hopefully avoid another strike on the members across the top of the truss bridge. 

Repairs on the bridge began two weeks after the incident occurred with completion set for the fall.

By mid-July it was determined that the bridge could be finished earlier than expected.

According to the contractor, the weather had been a contributing factor for being ahead of schedule. Jim Smith Contracting is performing the work for $241,340

The Panther Creek Bridge underwent an extensive painting and maintenance project in the fall of 2018. In August 2019, it was damaged by a truck carrying a load of metal and closed to traffic. The bridge reopened two days prior to Thanksgiving 2019.

Approximately 5,200 vehicles cross the bridge each day. 

July 29, 2020 | 8:43 am

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