Bridge Is Damaged Beyond Repair

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

An inspection of an eastern Kentucky bridge finds damage that can't be repaired.

The damage is so bad that transportation officials say the Floyd County bridge will have to be replaced or rebuilt.

The bridge is in Drift and some people who live there say closing the bridge isn't much safer.

It's a fight between safety and convenience.

Bridge inspectors say the bridge can collapse and kill someone, but nearby residents are upset it's closed and say they need the bridge to get to town.

Engineers believe too much weight over the years broke the Highway 1101 bridge's center beam,

State inspectors believe the rest of the 30 year old bridge could collapse at any moment.

“That beam already failed. Although it is still in the bridge, if a car goes across it and puts a wheel on it, it could fall with the car,” Sam Hale said.

The bridge is shut down.

“It's the only way we have besides the old dirt road,” Amy Jervis said.

Despite safety concerns, nearby residents want their bridge back.

“It puts kind of a hardship on you trying to get to and from the markets and the post office. It's really making it rough on us,” Teddy Shannon said.

There is a two mile detour, but residents say the road is too narrow for all the traffic and dangerous with the coal trucks.

“The other road is very unsafe and there have been several car accidents just the past couple of months,” Jervis said.

Inspectors say they can't risk something worse by opening the bridge.

Engineers don't think they can fix it.

Which means the bridge could be closed for a year.

Transportation officials say the bridge is already in the state's six year plan for replacement, so the money for re-building is there and they shouldn't have any problems building a new one quickly.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Kellie Location: Drift on Sep 4, 2007 at 06:15 PM
    The coal company cannot not say that their trucks did not use that bridge. I got behind them daily on my way to work. We just want the bridge we were promised.
  • by 154 Location: Hunter, Floyd County on Aug 29, 2007 at 07:04 AM
    I do agree with you all. The detour road is dusty and dangerious. Everyone is blaming the State, the County and the Elected officals here in Floyd County. Try placing the blame where it needs to be. The Coal Trucks and the Mine Officals for telling the coal trucks that the bridge is safe for them to cross with 40 tons on their trucks even though the max limit was set at 3 tons. Yes this did happen! Thats why the bridge is closed. The State is working on money to start a bridge replacement that will cost over a million dollars. You just cant find that kind of money laying around anywhere. This prject has been requested for the last 4 years and was set to start next year. The County along with our Elected Officals are working on the detour road. They have graded it, cleaned out ditch lines and cut weeds to improve sight distance. There a lot of drunks that use the old road to escape Law Enforcement Officals. Extra patrols will help this problem. I do travel this road as well as you.
  • by Donna Location: Bronston on Aug 28, 2007 at 01:35 PM
    I understand the feelings that these people are going through but like Tammy said the school bus goes down that 1 lane road! Well lets think about it this way the bus is going over that bridge full with kids. All of a sudden the bridge falls cause you all want it open so it is more convient for you to get to town. Then its a bus full of kids hurt or worse. So I think there needs to be a town metting and the law needs to be involved make a decision on this maybe see about patroling the road more or something but u need to think more about others then your own self getting to where u need to go. Leave earlier for work or to the store give your self some time dont rush and before you know it the new bridge will be up and running.
  • by Jim Location: Ardmore on Aug 28, 2007 at 01:34 PM
    We need to pay more attention to the people running for office and vote for best rather than the Party. I could promise you the moon, but when I get in office and don't fulfill my promises what are you going to do? Nothing!!!! Think before you vote. Popularity is not necessarily best. Honesty is. So vote your road.
  • by tammy Location: dirt road drift on Aug 28, 2007 at 09:06 AM
    if you lived there you would be mad too...yes there is another way to go but it seems all the drunks and dope heads take the off roads to get away from the law & who wants to meet these people on a one lane road in the middle of night or day they nearly run over you or they got the road blocked drinking with friends.. i think the bridge should of been repaired years ago.. i think they should get started of this bridge and stop wasting time.if they lived here & had to travel the off roads to get home i know it would be a priorty..so you can say what you want but until you go through what we are dont judge us..or call us morons..a 2 mile long detour dosent sound very long but when it is a dirt road which is so dusty you cant see a foot in front of you and its a 1 lane so you just got to hope & pray that you dont meet or hit anyone.the school bus must also travel these 1 lane dusty roads with our children.this is just not right the bridge needs to be repaired or replaced soon
  • by Barry Location: Floyd county on Aug 28, 2007 at 06:42 AM
    maybe when election time nears the politicians MIGHT do something or at least promise to.
  • by 154 Location: Floyd County on Aug 28, 2007 at 05:44 AM
    Here are the facts.The bridge is not safe due to the over weight coal trucks crossing the bridge. The bridge was rated at 3 ton max weight limit. There is 2 other ways to leave and enter through. The The detour road does have some narrow spots but there is plenty places to pass. It would be much easer if the coal trucks as well as other people would quit driving in the middle of this road. State will soon begin putting up a temp. span until the new bridge can be built. Yes there is inconvenience but it is amazing how soon people forget things. Has it even been a month since the bridge fell in Minniapolis? No there wont be as much death and destruction but one loss of life is too much. IT'S NOT WORTH THE RISK!
  • by v Location: Kentucky on Aug 28, 2007 at 02:25 AM
    Worried about a inconvenience of a detour and they want there bridge back open. Gee, what morons!!! They wouldn't be saying this if their car was on the bridge and it was collapsing. Every body is the same, they don't like change but if the bridge is too dangerous to stay open, what's a year when it could save someone's life or many lives.

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