KENTUCKY (WFIE) - The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is launching a statewide bridge program that will rehabilitate or replace more than 1,000 bridges.
Bridging Kentucky is one of the nation's most aggressive rehabilitation and replacement programs. It represents a transformational commitment by the KYTC to prioritize investments to improve the safety and soundness of bridges.
Nearly 400 bridges will be rehabilitated over the first two years of the six-year program.
It is expected to cost $700-million. That estimate is the result of a data-driven, priority-setting approach led by Governor Matt Bevin and backed by the 2018 Kentucky General Assembly.
"For decades, Kentucky has failed to properly maintain its bridges. The deferred maintenance cost is now measured in billions of dollars. When elected, I promised to address this issue, and that is exactly what we are doing. This is what responsible government looks like," said Gov. Bevin. "Repairing and reopening closed bridges will reestablish vital routes for school buses, emergency vehicles and the hard-working men and women who make Kentucky great. We are cleaning up years of neglect. Much work remains to be done, but we are excited by the progress we are making."
KYTC assembled an experienced program team of engineers and professionals to identify and develop cost-effective, time-saving approaches to rehabilitate or replace bridges currently rated in poor condition.
The team is evaluating and prioritizing improvements of more than 1,000 bridges, focusing first on bridge projects approved in the state's biennium spending plan.
Following the evaluation process, the Bridging Kentucky team will develop plans to quickly implement improvements, allowing construction on some structures to begin later this year.