Needed: New owner for Perry County bridge

historic steel span is being replaced

bmusgrave@herald-leader.comOctober 25, 2011 

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet hopes to give away this historic bridge on Ky. 80 in Perry County.

FRANKFORT — Want to own a piece of transportation history?

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is looking for a new owner for an 82-year-old, 456-foot, three-span steel bridge.

The bridge, over the north folk of the Kentucky River in Perry County on Ky. 80, is set to be replaced next year. Through a new program, the cabinet is willing to give the 1929 bridge, which is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, to a new owner rather than demolish it.

H.B. Elkins, public information officer for the Kentucky Department of Highways District 10, said the cabinet would pay for marking the bridge, disassembling it and transporting it to a new site. The new owner would have to pay all other costs, including reassembling and maintaining the bridge.

Elkins said the department has tried in recent years to give away historic bridges in Mercer and Perry counties, but there were no takers.

He said the department was trying to find government entities such as cities, counties or parks departments that might need the bridge. The bridge is considered functionally obsolete because it is too narrow but is still in good condition, Elkins said.

"It would work well as an entrance to a public park or for a walking trail," Elkins said. "Or if a private owner needed a 450-foot bridge to access their property."

The steel bridge has three, 150-foot spans.

To be eligible for the program, recipients must re-erect the bridge so its original characteristics are retained.

Those interested should contact Jeff Allen, environmental coordinator for the Department of Highways District 10, at (606) 666-8841. Written proposals and letters of interest for the bridge will be accepted through Dec. 20.

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