Safety precautions put in place at Eggners Ferry Bridge

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Reporter - Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - Chad Darnall

AURORA, Ky. — Kenny Hargrove fishes on the waters of Kentucky Lake several times a week. But on Wednesday, he was noticing more than just the blue gill.

"They have a few extra buoys out here already," he said, navigating the waters around the Eggner's Ferry Bridge.

Fish and Wildlife crews, contracted through Kentucky's Transportation Cabinet had hit the waters early, putting five buoys in the channel. The message displayed on them in block lettering is clear: "No Boats."

"Some of your bigger boats need to know that," he said.

It was 12 weeks ago the cargo vessel Delta Mariner collided with the bridge, knocking down an entire span. While most of the wreckage left with the ship weeks ago, some of it remains at the bottom of the lake.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will not say how much is left but say it is enough to cause some damage to passing vessels.

Hargrove is relieved to see the buoys because he says it means crews are one step closer to repairing the bridge. He admitted he has not been as inconvenienced as some, though.

"I don't have a lot of reason to cross the bridge other than fishing," he said with a smile.

A spokesman for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet tells Local 6 those buoys will be in the water "indefinitely."

As far as the wreckage sitting at the bottom of Kentucky Lake, there is no time line yet on when it will be removed.

Again, the buoys are a safety precaution for passing boats. In the days following the collision, the Coast Guard did have buoys in the water but they had since been removed.

Louisville-based Hall Construction is working to assemble a replacement span. When construction is completed in the coming weeks, it will be transported in one piece using barges and cranes.

Governor Steve Beshear has pledged to have the bridge reopened by Memorial Day weekend.

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