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Officials say bridges in Eastern Kentucky are safe

There are bridges in Eastern Kentucky that are similar to the design of the one that collapsed in Washington State, but Kentucky Transportation officials say they are constantly taking precautions to avoid this type of disaster.

Officials say the Skagit River Bridge in Washington State collapsed when an oversized load on a truck hit one of the beams that supports the bridge.

"We had a semi truck that was southbound on Interstate Five. The size of the load that he was carrying appeared to create a problem causing him to strike the bridge," said Washington State Police Chief John Batiste.

Kentucky Transportation Officials say the height and weight limit a bridge can take are posted on signs to let drivers know if they can pass through.

"It's incumbent upon drivers of tall vehicles to know the heights of the bridges, to know their route, to know the heights of the loads and if they are transporting a load that would not pass under one of the bridges, they need to find an alternate route," said H.B. Elkins with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Transportation officials say that the Lance Corporal John Robert Parsons Memorial Bridge in Combs needs to be replaced because it is not wide enough. They also say that there are no bridges in the district that are in danger of collapsing any time soon.

"If we feel that conditions warrant, we will close a bridge if we discover damage. If there is minor deterioration or something else that is not an immediate safety factor, we may lower the weight limit on a bridge and post that weight limit," Elkins said.

Officials say the traffic in Eastern Kentucky is much lighter than on Interstate Five in Washington State. Transportation officials say all of the bridges in the tenth district are inspected at least once per year. They say there are less than one dozen truss bridges, like the one that collapsed in Washington State, in Eastern Kentucky.


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