Blue Bridge getting a checkup, delays are back

OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - More delays are coming to the Blue Bridge in Owensboro, but this time, for only two weeks.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says it's time for the Blue Bridge's routine checkup.

The bridge will be restricted to one lane so that crews can inspect the bridge.

"One lane traffic with alternating flow controlled by flaggers," said Keith Todd with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. "Literally look at the bridge from one side to the other. Refer to it as an arms length inspection. They'll get within an arm's length of every element of the bridge and look at it very closely, and take photos to document their work."

"The last time the state inspected the bridge of course they found enough flaws to cause the closing of the bridge for three or four months," said Kirk Kirkpatrick, who works downtown.

Last year, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet completed a deck rehab project from July to October.

"Sufficiency rating on the deck had dropped below a five, which goes to scale of nine and so we believe that number will be higher this time as a result of the rehab work," Todd said.

As far as painting goes, Todd said, "That's still not scheduled. That's still several years off due to coordinating with Indiana since we share the cost of the bridge."

Residents remain optimistic with Smothers Park set to open in August.

"The bridge is kind of your front door and you certainly would like for it to have a brand new coat of paint since there's a new $40 million house. We'd rather have the bridge safe and painted, but ideally, we'd like it safe and look brand new blue," Kirkpatrick said.

Officials say the inspection should be finished in two weeks with weather permitting. Drivers may see a three to four minute delay.

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