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U.S. 51 Ohio River 'Cairo' Bridge starts October 16

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Area residents will have an opportunity to provide input on planning for a new U.S. 51 Ohio River "Cairo" Bridge starting Friday, October 16, 2020.

Construction of a replacement for the U.S. 51 Ohio River Bridge, which also carries U.S. 60 and U.S. 62 across the Ohio River between Wickliffe, Kentucky, and Cairo, Illinois, is expected to start in the next 5 to 10 years. The project team is asking the public to review updated information athttp://www.US51Bridge.com, then participate in an online survey to help guide the planning process that will lead to the construction of a new bridge.

Opened in 1938, the existing 82-year-old bridge is in fair condition with narrow lanes and shoulders. The purpose of the U.S. 51 Bridge Project is to improve cross-river mobility by addressing the functional limitations of the existing bridge and approach spans.

With continuing COVID-19 restrictions limiting public engagement, KYTC is providing interested stakeholders with an online opportunity to participate and share their feedback on the project. The online public review will begin at 8 a.m. CDT on October 16 and continue through 5 p.m. CDT on October 30 on the Project website at http://www.US51bridge.com.

A short video introduces a self-guided tour of the project story-map. The website provides current information about the project, including alternatives considered, the proposed preferred alternative, the current fact sheet, and a brief survey link.

Printed copies will be available at the Wickliffe Public Library, 257 North 4th St., and at the Cairo Public Library, 1609 Washington Ave. A copy of the printed materials is available to the public via mail by contacting Keith Todd at the KYTC District 1 office by calling (270) 898-2431.

A final decision on the project will be made in collaboration with the Federal Highway Administration, KYTC, and IDOT. Input from coordinating cooperating agencies, Section 106 consulting parties, the Citizens Advisory/Environmental Justice Group, and the general public will be part of that decision-making process.

The U.S. 51 Ohio River "Cairo" Bridge serves as a north-south connector for U.S. 51 and an east-west transportation corridor for U.S. 60 and U.S. 62. The bridge carries about 7,000 vehicles per day between Kentucky and Illinois. About 35 percent of that is commercial trucks.

The existing bridge is currently undergoing deck and joint work, limiting traffic to one-lane with an 8 ft., 6-inch maximum load width and alternating flow controlled by an automated signal. The work, expected to be completed around October 25, is aimed at getting the existing bridge in optimum condition while planning for the construction of a new bridge continues.

The U.S. 51 Ohio River "Cairo" Bridge opened to traffic on November 11, 1938. The Cairo-Wickliffe Bridge is at Ohio River navigation mile point 980.4 near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

Responses from the public to the online survey will become a part of the official record for the project. Once compiled, the meeting record is available for review and copying after an Open Records Request is submitted.

In accordance with the American Disabilities Act (ADA), if anyone has a disability and requires assistance, please notify Keith Todd no later than Friday, October 23. Printed materials are available upon request. Please call, mail, or email your request to: Keith Todd, KYTC District 1, 5501 Kentucky Dam Road, Paducah, KY 42003, via phone at (270) 898-2431, or via email at KYTC.District1info@ky.gov.

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