Smithland bridge Demolition

Explosive Demolition of Old U.S. 60 Cumberland River "Smithland" Bridge Moved to Thursday, Nov. 2

Additional info provided prior to the Nov. 2 date

PADUCAH, Ky. (October 16, 2023) – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC), Jim Smith Contracting, and a demolition sub-contractor have moved the explosive demolition of the Old U.S. 60 Cumberland River Bridge at Smithland to Thursday, November 2, 2023.

The schedule could vary based on weather when explosives are placed on the bridge structure in the last few days of blast preparations.

Prep work that includes saw cutting and removal of the concrete decking on the 92-year-old structure will continue.  The concrete deck has been removed from the main truss using heavy equipment.  As the demolition date approaches, a sub-contractor will cut critical locations on the main truss before placing explosives to bring down the truss and approach spans.  The explosives crew plans to take down the truss and approach spans at the same time.

The explosive demolition of the old bridge will require the new bridge to be closed from approximately 9 a.m., to 11:30 a.m. on the day of the blast, and require commercial tow boat and pleasure boat traffic to be halted for about 24 hours on the Cumberland River.  There will be a 1,500 ft. clear zone around the blast site that will be strictly enforced.

Once the main truss is dropped into the river, a crane mounted on barges will remove remnants of the steel truss from the river to allow the steel to be recycled.

Tentative plans include a viewing area for the public at the Livingston County Fairgrounds on the day of the blast.

Once this initial blast has taken down the main truss and approach spans, two additional blasts will be scheduled at about two-week intervals to take down the concrete piers and demolish concrete abutments.

KYTC District 1 will provide additional updates as the primary demolition date approaches.

The New U.S. 60 Cumberland River bridge at Smithland, also known as the Jim R. Smith Memorial Bridge and the Smithland Bridge, opened to traffic on May 15.  The new bridge is at U.S. 60 Livingston County mile point 12.348.  The 1,912 ft. bridge with a 700 ft. main span and 40 ft. wide deck was constructed by Jim Smith Contracting of Grand Rivers.

About 5,100 vehicles cross the Smithland Bridge in an average day.  The bridge is at Cumberland River navigation mile point 2.7.

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