Part Of Old Ledbetter Bridge In Kentucky Collapses

Part Of Old Ledbetter Bridge In Kentucky Collapses

CREATED Jun 23, 2014
LEDBETTER, Ky. - Part of the Old Ledbetter Bridge near Paducah collapsed early Sunday morning.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said two of the bridge's land-based piers and the spans they supported on the Paducah side fell to the ground around 2:10 a.m. Sunday.  Another land-based pier is still standing, but is cracked and "severely leaning." It supports a lone approach span.

Officials have been monitoring the bridge since April, when they first noticed slippage. The structure dropped another foot on Friday.

The 83-year-old structure has been closed since the end of last July, when traffic was moved to the new US 60 Tennessee River Bridge.

Transportation Cabinet engineers conducted safety checks on the main truss over the river. Officials urged the public to stay away from the area, especially the bluff near the bridge. There could be instability and land slippage along the bluff.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said those who wish to see the bridge have been asked to go to the Livingston County side of the river along Delta Drive near the Livingston Point Elevator and view from there. Police will be issuing citations to unauthorized personnel who enter the restricted area.

The Old Ledbetter Bridge, which is also known as the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge, is slated for demolition, but work on the project hasn't begun.
It opened to traffic in 1931, connecting Livingston and McCracken Counties between Ledbetter and Paducah.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)