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Opening Soon

Harrods Creek Bridge to re-open
after extensive renovation project

Safety issues forced the closure
of the bridge in Nov. 2008

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

PROSPECT, Ky. (August 2010) – After closing for safety concerns in November 2008, the bridge spanning Harrods Creek is close to completion. Cyclists and drivers have had to reroute themselves, sometimes frustrated at the detoured traffic routes, but the end result promises to be well worth the wait, according to officials.

Harrods Creek Bridge

Photo by Christy Jester

Workers are nearing completion
on the Harrods Creek Bridge in
Prospect, Ky. The target date
for re-opening the bridge is
Aug. 31, officials said.

“The target date for reopening is Aug. 31,” said Lindsay English, Communications Coordinator for Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson’s office. Although the exact date has not been set yet, a big grand opening is being planned with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
English said the project is right on schedule and budget, complete with a price tag near $3 million. “The bridge is now definitely safer. The shell (or historical look of the bridge) has been maintained. It fits in nicely with the surrounding area.”
Currently, crews are working on the railing and on finalizing the surface layer of the bridge. Nine 70 foot beams have been laid in the shell of the old bridge, each weighing more than 40 tons. Two 500-ton cranes were used to set the large beams that will support the bridge and its deck.
Mac Construction placed the deck panels across the bridge before laying the asphalt. Laying the beams and decking were what comprised the majority of the work, said English. After this was completed “it looked like a bridge.”
The bridge was widened from one lane to two lanes because many felt it was a safety hazard in its original condition. But on the other hand, there are motorists who feel traffic will now be increased in the area, with more potential for accidents. This has been an ongoing debate for several years, but all agree the bridge needed to be repaired and reopened. Crews have tried to maintain the history of the Harrods Creek Bridge.
To get in and out of the Prospect area, many motorists had to resort to using Wolf Pen Road and Hwy. 42, which stays busy from morning until night. Many feel the detours have hurt local businesses, but that is all about to come to an end.
“Crews have continued to work throughout the summer,” to remedy the problems, said English. No more work is to be done on the bridge once completed at the end of August. It has been “completely restored and restructured,” English said.
There is some concern over whether the bridge will be open for the Ford Ironman Louisville Triathlon event scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 29. “The first year the event was ran over the bridge,” said Ann Zimlich, organizer of the Ironman Festival that will take place in La Grange in conjunction with the triathlon. “The third year it couldn’t be run over the bridge,” she said, because the bridge was closed.
According to Tory Killian, Operations Director for the Louisville Sports Commission, “If the Harrods Creek Bridge is completed on race day, the course will go over the bridge,” said Brooke Ballard, Office Manager for the commission. “We are hoping that it all works out and the athletes can utilize the bridge for the race.”

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