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Want to buy a bridge? Must move. State wants to sell historic Blackford Creek Bridge; has ‘character’

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (KT) – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is seeking a new home for a historic bridge.

The Blackford Creek Bridge on Toler Bridge Road at the Hancock-Daviess County line is scheduled for replacement next year and transportation engineers are looking for a good home for the old bridge, which closed to traffic in October 2018.

The bridge was determined as eligible for the National Register of Historic Places by the Kentucky State Historic Preservation Officer in 2011. Constructed around 1919, it is believed to have served an early regional route while what is now U.S. 60 was under construction in the late 1920s.

Blackford Creek Bridge at Hancock-Daviess County line needs a new home.

Transportation Cabinet District 2 Chief Engineer Deneatra Henderson said the bridge would make a great addition to a hiking and biking trail, or as part of a golf course cart path.

“Our goal here is to find an acceptable re-use of this historic structure,” Henderson said. “It has a lot of character. It is a steel Pratt pony truss, 60-feet long with a 13.5-foot wide concrete deck. While it is functionally obsolete by today’s standards, it could still have a lot of useful life if we can find it a new home in an appropriate location.”

District 2 Environmental Coordinator Pamela Broadston says the agency is seeking to locate a city, county or state government agency; historic preservation organization; or other approved individual or entity interested in having the bridge moved to a new site in Kentucky for preservation and reuse.

“We’ve already had some organizations express an interest in adopting the bridge,” she said. “We’re optimistic that someone, somewhere in Kentucky will find a place for this historic bridge to take on a new life. We’re asking that the bridge be put to a use consistent with its historic character. If it can be relocated to an appropriate setting, the bridge may still be eligible for the National Register designation.”

Cost should not be a factor as the Federal Highway Association and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet can pay all expenses associated with match marking, disassembly, transportation to the new site, and off-loading of the bridge in an amount up to the estimated cost of demolition.

The new owner, when chosen, will be responsible for all costs associated with site preparation and re-assembly of the bridge. Any additional costs the project might bear will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Agencies, organizations, or individuals who have an interest in adopting the historic structure should submit letters of interest and proposals for the bridge before Dec. 1.

If no recipient is located or selected, the bridge will be documented to Historic American Engineering Record specifications and demolished.

For more information or to submit a written proposal, contact Broadston at 270-824-7980.
Construction is planned to begin on a replacement bridge at the site in 2020.

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