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Brookport Bridge reopens as ice abates

Staff report

The U.S. 45 Ohio River Bridge between Paducah and Brookport, Ill., reopened to vehicular traffic Sunday, according to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Keith Todd.

He said personnel from the transportation cabinet checked the bridge Sunday afternoon and decided to open the bridge to traffic about 3:30 p.m. The bridge had been closed since about 11 p.m., Feb. 4 due to an influx of freezing rain and below-freezing temperatures.

Officials determined that above-freezing temperatures over the weekend melted the ice from the metal deck. Due to the metal structure of the bridge, snow is not an issue, but freezing rain and liquid precipitation freezes onto the surface of the bridge, according to Todd.

The 10-span bridge, also known as the Brookport Bridge and the Irvin S. Cobb Bridge, carries about 5,000 vehicles across the river daily. Due to deck width, the bridge is currently restricted to vehicles less than 8 feet wide which prohibits most trucks.

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