Bridge Has Residents Concerned

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

Some Harlan County residents say they've been forced to walk or drive across an unsafe bridge for years.

Cumberland residents say the Billips Avenue Bridge should have been replaced more than a decade ago.

“Last week we had to have an ambulance called for the little boy. He had an asthma attack. If the bridge would have been out of commission, we'd be hurting,” Doris Browning said.

The US Army Corps of Engineers is in charge of the replacement project, and has a new design for the 57-year-old structure.

All the Corps needs now is federal funding.

“We will have more specific information regarding the availability of funding and a schedule for construction after the house and senate agree on a conference report and the president signs the fiscal year 2008 energy and water appropriations bill,” Jeff Linkinhoker said.

US Representative Hal Rogers says money to fix the bridge is included in the 2008 bill.

Now he's waiting for the Senate to pass it.

“It's such an urgent thing, I'm trying to find even other sources in the federal budget for next year,” Representative Hal Rogers said.

So urgent, patience on this side of the water is all washed up.

Doris Browning wants officials to do whatever it takes to replace the bridge before someone gets hurt or even killed.

Representative Rogers says congress could agree on a funding bill by November or December.

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