Explosive demolition of the old U.S. 60 bridge over the Cumberland River in Smithland, Ky., is tentatively set for October 20 with the river expected to be closed for 24 hours at the site.
The bridge is located at Cumberland River Mile 2.7.
The demolition schedule could vary based upon weather when explosives are placed on the bridge structure in the last few days of blast preparations, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 1 spokesman Keith Todd said.
Prep work includes saw cutting of the concrete decking on the main span of the 92-year-old structure started in September. Once the deck is removed using heavy equipment, a subcontractor will cut key locations on the main bridge truss before placing the explosives to bring down the truss and approach spans. Removing the concrete decking from the through-truss main span takes several weeks, Todd said.
The explosives crew plans to take down the truss and approach spans at the same time.
The explosive demolition will require the halting of all commercial and pleasure boat traffic for approximately 24 hours. Vehicle traffic on the new bridge, which is adjacent, will also be closed for several hours.
Once the main truss is dropped into the river, a crane mounted on barges will remove remnants of the steel truss from the river to allow the steel to be recycled. The demolition team will then start on efforts to remove the concrete piers.
The new bridge, also known as the Jim R. Smith Memorial Bridge and the Smithland Bridge, opened to traffic on May 15. The new bridge is 1,912 feet long with a 700-foot main span and 40-foot-wide deck. It was constructed by Jim Smith Contracting of Grand Rivers, Ky.
Caption for photo: Crews are preparing for the demolition of the former U.S. 60 bridge over the Cumberland River (Mile 2.7) at Smithland, Ky. Demolition is tentatively set for October 20 and will require a 24-hour halt of river traffic at the site. (Photo by Keith Todd/Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 1)