OWENSBORO, Ky. (6/9/13) – In its monthly work session on Tuesday, the Owensboro City Commission heard a special report from Kentucky Department of Transportation District 2 Chief District Engineer Kevin McClearn concerning the state of road projects in the Owensboro and Daviess County area.
According to McClearn, efforts to maintain and renovate sections of the Audubon Parkway are underway at this time, with a projected completion this fall. During the work session, Mayor Ron Payne brought the question concerning the state of the parkway, citing a goal by his administration to incorporate the Audubon Parkway as a spur of Interstate 69. McClearn stated that currently, the parkway is not up to Interstate standards, and that modifications have yet to be made to make the road interstate ready. There is currently an ongoing study by the Kentucky Department of Transportation to specify exactly where the Audubon Parkway falls short of Interstate standards, and to project costs of bringing the road’s condition to where it needs to be. Construction is currently anticipated to be completed in September.
The painting project on the Glover H. Cary Bridge, more commonly referred to as the “Blue Bridge,” was the focal point of the briefing. Currently approximately one-third of the truss section on the bridge is completed, with more of the paint job becoming apparent as contractors move on to the next section of bridge.
“I love the process where you can see the new color of the bridge, as opposed to the old color during the paint job,” said Mayor Ron Payne during the meeting. “It sure points out how necessary this was.”
The goal is to complete the whole truss section by November of this year, according to McClearn, and to reopen the bridge completely until April of 2014. At that time, contractors will return to work on the project, but will not close the bridge completely. Lane closures will take place, and the project will be completed in November of 2014.
Currently, there is a debate on whether to impose a weight restriction on the bridge, as concerns have been raised that heavy trucks and farm machinery traffic imposes more weight on the bridge than it was designed to handle. A decision hasn’t been made regarding imposing a weight restriction on the bridge, but according to McClearn, officials do not anticipate that a weight restriction will be necessary at this time. Safety inspections are conducted approximately every two years, so should weight become an issue, it could be addressed in the future.
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