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New Lake Barkley Bridge open to two-lane traffic

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New Lake Barkley Bridge open to two-lane traffic

The Paducah Sun

Two-lane traffic is now open on the new U.S. 68/Ky. 80 Lake Barkley Bridge, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Keith Todd, transportation cabinet spokesman, said two-way traffic began Monday on what will eventually be the eastbound lanes of the new bridge, allowing construction work to continue along the westbound lanes.

Demolition work on the old Lake Barkley Bridge will begin soon.

"They'll start by jackhammering the concrete decking off the (old) bridge. Once they get the concrete decking removed, then we can start looking at setting a date for the use of explosives to implode the steel superstructure of the old bridge," Todd said.

That date is expected to be sometime in late March or in April. During planning for the new bridge, the U.S. Coast Guard requested the main spans of the existing bridge be removed as quickly as possible once two-way traffic is moved to the new structure.

Construction is continuing on the multi-use path, painting of the main arch steel and other finish work.

The existing U.S. 68/Ky. 80 Cumberland River/Lake Barkley Bridge, also known as the Henry R. Lawrence Memorial Bridge and the Canton Bridge, opened to traffic in 1932.

The 3,104-foot-long bridge has two 321-foot Parker through truss main spans and a 121-foot Pratt deck truss. It carried an estimated 3,000 vehicles across Lake Barkley and the Cumberland River on an average day.

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