Old Eggners Ferry Bridge set to come down Monday
The Eggners Ferry Bridge connects many of us to west Kentucky’s past. For 80 years, it’s how your family crossed Kentucky Lake. On Monday it finally comes down, and we are giving you the best view possible of its demolition.
The new and the old Eggners Ferry bridges, side by side, are a bittersweet reminder of how far we’ve come.
It was a ferry that originally brought people across the Tennessee River. The old bridge replaced it in 1932. In 1943, it shut down for six months while crews raised the bridge and put the dam in place to create Kentucky Lake.
Then in 2012, the Delta Mariner hit the bridge, sending a 300-foot section in the water.
Keith Todd with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says the state tried offering transportation cabinets across the country the 300-foot section of the bridge recently replaced. Todd says the steel is in remarkably good shape but there was no interest. He believes its probably because the cost to move it would be the same or more than building a new, smaller bridge.
Todd says when the old Eggners Ferry bridge opened regular passenger vehicle tolls were 25 cents.
"Back when it was built it was an absolute engineering marvel. When it was opened the average vehicle was a Ford Model A, the largest truck weighed 28 tons, and now we have 80,000-pound trucks running down the road," Todd said.
To read and watch more on the history of the old Eggners Ferry Bridge, click here.
After all these years, though, it’s time that did the bridge in. On Monday, it will ultimately be explosives.
You watched with us as the old Ledbetter Bridge was demolished in September of 2014. The implosion was recorded by eight cameras. Click here to see more.
This time, we’re going bigger. More than 10 cameras will capture the moment crews set off their explosives. It will give you the best view from every angle, even if you can’t physically be here to see this piece of history.
If you would like to watch the bridge implosion in person, Kenlake State Resort Park will make the park amphitheater available Monday morning. It’s on the Marshall County side of the bridge. Kieth Todd suggests bringing lawn chairs if you plan on watching from there.
Cindy’s On The Barge, a restaurant nearby, is planning on offering breakfast at the amphitheater. Co-owner Mike Schugg says they’re excited about bringing their business closer to the action.
"Getting to be part of this dropping of the old bridge and being part of history… We are expecting a thousand to two thousand people," Schugg said.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet released a detailed outline of what to expect the morning of Monday, July 25:
– Blast scheduled for 6:30 a.m. on Monday, July 25.
– The New U.S. 68/KY 80 Eggners Ferry Bridge will be closed to all traffic from 6:15 a.m. to 6:45 a.m.
– Spans B, C (navigational channel), D and E will be imploded with explosives.
– Spans A and F will be lifted and removed by cranes at a later date.
– There will be a blast radius clear zone of 1,000 feet.
– Marshall and Trigg county emergency services along with Marshall County Sheriff’s office will patrol the lake to enforce the clear zone.
– Immediately following demolition, cranes will move into place and start retrieving steel from the lake bottom.
The Land Between The Lakes Fenton Boat Ramp, dock and jetty will be closed starting at 1 a.m. Monday for the demolition.
Johnson Brothers Corporation is the prime contractor on the new Eggners Ferry Bridge project. They are also handling the demolition of the old bridge. The entire contract for the project is worth $133 million.
To follow updates on the bridge’s demolition from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, click here to see their Facebook page.