US 51 Ohio River “Cairo” Bridge remains closed

The U.S. 51 Ohio River "Cairo" Bridge between Kentucky and Illinois remains closed Thursday night where floodwaters covered the bridge approach levee at the Kentucky end, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says.

KYTC spokesman Keith Todd says the bridge remains closed until floodwaters drop a few more inches. He says engineers are checking water levels regularly, have inspected the levee and have been in conversations with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about water levels at the site.

Todd says highway crews and sheriff’s deputies are manning barricades at each end of the closed section of U.S. 51 near the bridge.

The roadway has been closed to vehicle traffic since the early morning hours of Dec. 31. U.S. 51 is also closed south of Wickliffe, KY, near the Ballard-Carlisle County Line.

Meanwhile, Todd says cold temperatures have created another concern for the next several nights that is more widespread.

“Any location where we have water over the road, or even on the edge of the pavement, is subject to icing,” Todd said.  “We have about a dozen or more locations where ice could become a safety issue when vehicles drive through floodwaters and track water onto the driving surface. We’re urging motorists to avoid driving on water covered roadways and will likely close some locations where ice could become an issue.”

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