Editor's note: updated with new video and the story from our broadcast.
TRIGG COUNTY, Ky. — The Eggners Ferry Bridge connecting Trigg and Marshall Counties will reopen to drivers Friday at 1p.m. This ends a more than four month traffic nightmare after the cargo ship Delta Mariner crashed into the bridge, ripping off an entire span.
On Thursday, crews were painting traffic lines on the replacement span. Those lines went on concrete poured just five days ago.
The grand reopening is welcome news to thousands of people inconvenienced when the Delta Mariner hit the bridge.
Barry Fox, director of the Trigg County Rescue Squad, said he's excited for the bridge to reopen but is happy for a different reason. The bridge's opening means money for the Trigg County Rescue Squad.
"Some saying, 'I don't want the chance, I just want to give donation,' so we're taking donations just for that, too," Fox said.
The chance he's talking about is to be one of five people to drive over the bridge from the Trigg County side for the first time.
Fox and other volunteers, along with local radio station WKDZ, sold tickets for $5.
All proceeds go toward something that might help you in an emergency. They'll use the cash to add to their arsenal of equipment they need to respond to emergencies in the LBL region.
"We're over there quite often, go back mile, two miles, sometimes five miles back into the woods, get somebody that's fell off a horse or wrecked a motorcycle," Fox said.
It's tough without the right equipment and the money raised in this unique way will help purchase a new all-terrain utility vehicle larger than the one they already have.
"Our job is to try and get them in and out as fast as possible and this is about the only way to do it," Fox said.
They hope raising money through this once-in-a-lifetime moment means getting a quicker and safer way to help people in need.
Unfortunately, your chance to buy a ticket has run out. They drew the winners at 5p.m. last Friday.
The bridge will open to traffic at 1p.m. Friday. That's a full two and a half days ahead of schedule.
There's no final tally on the number of tickets sold or how much was raised with donations. However, the all-terrain utility vehicle the group is eyeing runs around $15,000.
The public can come out and walk on the bridge before it opens to traffic from 9a.m. to 12p.m. Friday.