Rainy forecast sends crews to investigate Old Ledbetter Bridge - WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority

Rainy forecast sends crews to investigate Old Ledbetter Bridge

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MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY - There hasn't been any major movement from the Old Ledbetter Bridge since erosion caused the approach to drop several feet lower than it should be.

David Williams, a geologist from the Kentucky Geological Survey got to see the gaps in the pavement and cracks in the pillars for the first time, but he's more interested in the ground that bridge is resting on.

"If we get another three inch rain event you might see some more sliding," he said. Which is exactly why he was called to check the ground out, rain is in the forecast.

"Water is always a problem," he said. "Mainly because it adds weight and also erodes what's holding the ground back, holding the bank up, that's also a problem with rain or water."

It's such a problem that the McCracken County Sheriff headed out on the Tennessee River to put up caution tape to keep curious people out. There have been reports of people walking underneath the bridge.


"We hope that this will send a message that no one is allowed or permitted under this bridge," said Sheriff Hayden. " It's very, very dangerous. Hopefully people will heed the warnings and we're hoping the barricade tape will help reinforce that."

The sheriff added that if someone is caught beyond the barrier, they could be cited and fined.

Williams said there's a good reason eh Coast Guard has temporarily banned boats from stopping underneath the bridge, he said the collapse is like an earthquake, everyone knows they'll happen, they just can't predict when.

"It's going to be a slow process, like slicing bread," said Williams.

A spokesperson for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said officials are still working with the Governor's office in an effort to speed up the process of taking the bridge down. No decision has been made, but could come at any time.

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