New Crossing

Bridge replacement in
Carroll County to begin in March

Traffic will be detoured from
Madison through Bedford

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CARROLLTON, Ky. (February 2013) – Since the early 1990s, there has been a lot of concern over the KY Hwy. 36 bridge that spans Locust Creek in Carroll County. After two decades, construction of a new concrete bridge is about to begin.
“In the early 1990s there was a public hearing. There have been several fatal crashes in that area,” said Carroll County Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson. “There’s been a lot of concern over the roadway and the bridge. It’s really aged.”

Locust Creek Bridge Location

Tomlinson said the bridge is way too narrow and there is a tremendous amount of traffic on KY Hwy. 36, especially large truck traffic. This is due in part to a three-ton weight limit on the Milton-Madison Bridge. Large trucks have to avoid this bridge and find alternate routes across the river.
With work proceeding on the Milton-Madison Bridge, Tomlinson said now is a good time to replace the KY Hwy. 36 bridge. Judy Construction Co. of Cynthiana, Ky., was awarded the low bid contract of $2.6 million.
On Feb. 4, work crews are scheduled to begin moving utilities, and the road will be closed to through traffic beginning March 1, said Nancy Wood, Public Information Officer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 6 Office.
“It is a functionally obsolete bridge,” said Wood, meaning it “can not handle what it needs to handle.” It is, however, structurally sound, she said.
The new concrete bridge will have three spans and approaches, said Wood. It will be 231 feet long. The south approach will be reconfigured “to provide better sight distance and help with safety.”
Tomlinson said there have been a lot of “fatalities at the sight and the other side toward Milton.” It’s not unusual to see broken pieces of vehicle mirrors laying everywhere and he called the area “one of the worst sections of Hwy. 36 between here and Milton.”
The project will be completely state funded. “It was a need that was brought to our attention by the county,” said Wood. The Transportation Department heard many comments and complaints from local folks and officials.
Tomlinson said he would have liked to have seen the bridge dropped downstream a bit and the approaches moved over, but this would have had too many “different effects on different things.” It would have been more of a problem for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. The most cost-effective plan was chosen, he said.
The state will post detour signs during construction. It will definitely have an impact on traffic flow between Madison and Carrollton. “It will be an inconvenience, no doubt about it,” Tomlinson said.
Motorists will be directed to take KY Hwy. 36 to U.S. Hwy. 421 to U.S. Hwy. 42 back to KY Hwy. 36. Another route local drivers can follow is KY Hwy. 1482 and KY Hwy. 3176 to KY Hwy. 1226. This detour route will not be marked.
Weather permitting, the contractor plans to have the road closure lifted by June 1, with the project expected to be completed by June 30. At that time the road will be open to full traffic. Once in place, the “new bridge will bring us up to today’s standards,” said Tomlinson.

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