Photo courtesy of Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) - KYTC District 9 Bridge Engineer Blake Jones (right) and inspector Kirby Shugars look at one of the many hanger cables on the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge.

According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, construction crews will begin repairing parts of the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge. The bridge that works as a pathway for many local residents has been closed since last year.

The bridge, which carries US 62 across the Ohio River between Maysville and Aberdeen, Ohio, was restricted to a 3-ton weight limit in July when inspectors found corrosion damage to several suspender cables – the vertical cables extending from the main suspension cable that support the bridge’s driving surface. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet put the bridge on a monthly inspection rotation and began planning temporary repairs. In November, the cabinet awarded a $254,535 repair contract to Judy C. Harp Company, Inc., and the contractor began ordering bridge components and other materials.

According to state officials, the bridge was then closed to safeguard it from further damage and protect the traveling public after subsequent inspections found that the conditions of cables had worsened at several locations.

This week, contractors notified engineers that they will begin repair work on Monday, March 16.

The repairs will include the installation of temporary support rods and brackets at 19 locations adjacent to damaged suspender cables as a short-term safety measure and to hopefully return the bridge to a more normal weight limit while longer-term repairs are considered.

Work should be complete by April 15, after which bridge inspectors will survey the repairs to make sure the bridge can be safely reopened. When reopened, the bridge will likely be restricted to a lower weight limit.

Until repairs are complete and it passes inspection, the Simon Kenton bridge will remain closed. All US 62 traffic should continue to detour using the William H. Harsha Bridge (US 68) three miles north of Maysville to connect to and from US 52 and US 62 in Ohio.

According to historicbridges.org, the bridge was constructed in 1931 By Builder/Contractor: John A. Roebling Sons Company of Trenton, New Jersey and Engineer/Design: Modjeski and Masters. This bridge is one of the few surviving historic suspension bridges on the Ohio River.

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