WKYT Investigates: Concerns over safety of I-64 bridge

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Frankfort mother says an I-64 bridge is too dangerous for her children's bus to pass under, but the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says looks can be deceiving.

"Living in Franklin County my whole life and I've never seen a bridge like this before," says Sherri McKinney.

She's talking about the Cardwell Bridge. WKYT went to check it out. It's not hard to see why she's concerned. There are big areas with exposed rebar, steel reinforcing bars partially embedded in concrete and piles of concrete that have fallen from bridge piers.

"It's kinda scary to drive underneath it wondering what may fall off the bridge," says McKinney.

Reports on the bridge show rankings of both serious and poor going all the way back to 2008. Those rankings stem from inspections on the bridge that happen in late summer every two years. The next inspection is scheduled for this August. Transportation Cabinet spokesman Chuck Wolfe says work needs to be done to fix the bridge. He says the bridge is not dangerous. The cabinet plans to patch the concrete to cover the exposed rebar.

"If you let it go indefinitely, then you would get to a point where the deterioration was or have potential to effect the structural stability of the bridge," says Wolfe.

Wolfe says spending money to maintain the bridge on Interstate 64 is a tough decision. The cabinet knows that, eventually, the interstate will be six lanes and the bridge will be gone for good.

McKinney says the patches have been done before and didn't hold up.

"It looks worse now than it did two, three years ago," says McKinney.

"It's very unattractive. I mean nobody tries to argue otherwise, but as far as the strength of the piers, the piers are quite adequate," says Wolfe.

Wolfe says construction bids on the bridge repairs will go out in July. The repairs are expected to cost about $500,000.

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