Starting Monday, the 84-year-old Kennedy Mill Bridge, which spans Herrington Lake on Ky. 152 between Mercer and Garrard counties, will be out of commission for six months for repairs.
David Hughes, an engineer for the state Transportation Cabinet, said construction crews will replace connections on the trusses and reinforce much of the bridgework. He said he hopes the bridge will be certified to support 10 tons after the $1.8 million project is finished. The bridge has been rated to support three tons.
"A car will be all right on that bridge, but if you meet a car in the middle coming in the other direction, that isn't good," Hughes said.
The bridge is inspected yearly, he said. The real problem has been the continual use of the bridge by dump trucks that exceed the posted 3-ton limit.
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"It's been a law-enforcement problem," he said. "Every time more than three tons goes over that bridge, it weakens it."
Earlier this week, a town meeting in Burgin drew some residents concerned about the state's posted detour, which would, Hughes agreed, take motorists 40 miles out of the way.
"There might be a shorter route through Danville, but we don't like to send people through downtowns or back streets," he said.
Another town meeting is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at Camp Dick Robinson Elementary School in Garrard County.