U.S. 51 Ohio River “Cairo” Bridge closure continues

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says the U.S. 51 Ohio River "Cairo" Bridge between Kentucky and Illinois is still closed where floodwaters have covered the bridge approach levee at the Kentucky end of the bridge.

KYTC spokesman Keith Todd says engineers have barricaded the roadway to prevent truckers and other drivers from moving road closed signs and driving off into the floodwaters near the 6 mile marker on US 51.

The roadway has been closed to vehicle traffic since about 12:20 a.m. on Dec. 31. US 51 is also closed south of Wickliffe, near the Ballard-Carlisle County Line.

Todd says the bridge closure creates about an 80 mile detour via the Interstate 24 Ohio River Bridge through southern Illinois. He says river level updates from the National Weather Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers show the river elevation will likely keep the river crossing between Wickliffe, Kentucky, and Cairo, Illinois, closed until about Thursday. Engineers will continue checking the site several times a day as floodwaters are expected to drop slowly.

Engineers were expecting floodwaters to be about 6 feet deep at one point on the levee near the Kentucky end of the bridge by Monday. However, the river forecast was lowered for the site. 

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