JACKSON, KY – Yet again, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is looking for a new Kentucky home for an old Kentucky bridge.
Beginning next year, the state plans to replace an aging bridge carrying KY 30 over the Middle Fork of the Kentucky River near Old Buck in Breathitt County with a modern span. The existing bridge, a Pratt truss bridge, was built in 1935 and has been deemed eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge is approximately 240 feet long with two 10.5-foot driving lanes.
In order to make room for the new bridge, the old one must be demolished. Rather than see this piece of history disappear, the cabinet and the Federal Highway Administration are seeking a new owner within Kentucky for the bridge.
A program is in place through the Federal Highway Administration, State Historic Preservation Office and KYTC to allow government agencies, historic preservation organizations or individuals to re-erect the bridge if its original characteristics are retained at the new site. Historic organizations and individuals must be approved by the state historic preservation officer to be eligible for the program.
Under the program, KYTC and FHWA will pay the costs of marking parts of the bridge, disassembling it, transporting it to the new site, and off-loading it. The recipient is responsible for all other costs, including site preparation, reassembly, replacement of parts suitable for the proposed use at the new location and construction of approaches. The recipient also becomes responsible for maintenance, liability and permits associated with the bridge.
Possible uses for the bridge include becoming part of a walking or bicycling trail in a city or county park, or being used by a property owner as a unique stream crossing for a private driveway.
This is the fourth bridge offered for relocation in District 10 in the past year. Two bridges in Perry County and one in Breathitt have been advertised as KYTC works to replace older, substandard bridges with modern spans.
“On one of the Perry County bridges we advertised last year, we received inquiries from all across the United States as well as internationally,” said Jeff Allen, environmental coordinator for the Department of Highways District 10 in Jackson, who oversees the bridge relocation program for the district. “The costs for moving a bridge such a long distance are prohibitive and impractical. Therefore, we are seeking in-state applicants for the possible relocation of the Old Buck Bridge.”
Eligible recipients can request additional information from Allen at the District 10 office located at 473 Highway 15 South, Jackson, by writing him at P.O. Box 621, Jackson, KY 41339, by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling him at (606) 666-8841. Letters of interest and written proposals for relocation of the bridge will be accepted until Aug. 20.