Thousands stroll down new Eggners Ferry Bridge before opening to traffic
The eastbound lanes on the new Eggners Ferry Bridge are officially open to traffic, but before they let the vehicles through, they let people through on foot.
Connie Austin says it’s history in the making, and there isn’t any other place she’d rather be than walking across the new new bridge.
"It gives me goosebumps to see the old go away but yet welcoming the new," says Austin.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says a couple thousand people, including Austin, showed up for a quick stroll down the eastbound lanes on Wednesday.
"We’re walking up and down, and they’re literally beating the concrete apart, tearing down the old," says Austin.
The bridge is named after Milton Egner, who ran the ferry before the old bridge was built. On Wednesday, his great-great-granddaughter, Nina Alderson, cut the ribbon to help celebrate the new bridge.
"I’m so proud of it," says Alderson. "I didn’t think I’d live to see it but so far so good."
With the American flag flying high, Dan Quick, a U.S. Army Veteran, was one of the first people to drive across the eastbound lanes.
Vickey Lane was there too and she’s excited about what the new four-lane bridge has to offer.
"The safety," says Lane. "The safety that it will provide for those traveling."
Austin says just standing on the new bridge feels safer than driving across the old one.
"Couldn’t imagine walking across the old bridge," says Austin.
Westbound traffic on the bridge is expected to stay as one lane for several days as crews paint new stripes.
Meanwhile, construction continues on another bridge just a few miles down the road. KYTC says crews are almost done building the base of the arch for the new Lake Barkley Bridge at Canton. By Oct. 2017, they’re hoping to have two lanes of the new bridge complete, so they can move traffic over and get the old bridge ready for demolition. Similar to what they did for the Eggners Ferry Bridge.