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Slippage turns off bridge's power

Staff report

Recently installed solar-powered navigation lights are illuminating the old Ledbetter bridge after continued land slippage along the nearby bluff knocked out electricity to the aging structure Sunday night, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Keith Todd, cabinet spokesman, said the pole that brings power to the bridge spanning the Tennessee River from McCracken to Livingston counties slipped down the hill, tripping the breaker and interrupting electric service. Jackson Purchase Energy Corp. workers were at the bridge Monday morning doing some rerouting, he said.

The solar navigation lights were installed Friday.

"We were anticipating that those western approach spans would continue to droop," Todd said.

Demolition is scheduled to start in the next couple of weeks, according to Todd. Haydon Bridge Co. and Kay and Kay Construction Co., who jointly built the new U.S. 60 Tennessee River bridge, will demolish the old structure under a change order to its contract totaling $5.62 million.

The 83-year-old structure, which has been closed to traffic since July 2013, has become unstable because of continued slippage along the McCracken County riverbank following recent heavy rains. While the main truss spans are stable, the west approach spans have dropped several feet.

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