Drivers hoping to cross the Brookport bridge will have to wait another week or so, despite the fact that completion of the Greenway Trail underpass is on schedule, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
The U.S. 45 bridge connecting Paducah to Brookport, Illinois, has been closed since July 8 to allow for construction of the underpass, scheduled to be finished by Tuesday.
However, the bridge is now projected not to reopen before Aug. 4 so the Transportation Cabinet can repair a damaged beam that was discovered in June.
Engineers had hoped the $68,269 bridge repair project would be finished around the same time as the underpass, but a steel beam made to replace the damaged one can't be delivered until Sunday. The beam repair is expected to take about a week, weather permitting.
Transportation Cabinet engineers asked the public on June 18 for information about the vehicle that damaged the beam and caused the bridge to be reduced to a 20-ton load limit while repairs were being planned. With the public's help, transportation officials determined the beam was hit around April 30.
Engineers now believe the vehicle was a red truck, most likely hauling a large piece of equipment. The bridge - which usually carries some 5,000 vehicles across the river each day - is limited to vehicles no more than 8 feet wide, which eliminates most truck traffic.