KENTUCKY (WEHT) The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to reopen the U.S. 51 Ohio River “Cairo” Bridge to one-lane traffic sometime on Wednesday afternoon – five days ahead of schedule.

The bridge will most likely reopen around 3 p.m., but that could vary based on the addition of new pavement striping and other factors. When the bridge does reopen, it will continue to be restricted to one-lane traffic with alternating flow controlled by an automated signal until around Oct. 1.

The bridge has been closed since Aug 1 to allow extensive maintenance work along almost 2 miles of the Kentucky approach embankment.  The extended closure also helped to accelerate deck and joint work on the bridge that started June 10.  However, the closure forced drivers to contend with an 80-mile detour.

There will be some additional asphalt paving along the Kentucky approach between the Minor Slough bridge and the main bridge the week before Labor Day.  That work could raise the driving surface elevation as much as 15 inches in some low spots, helping to reduce the likelihood and length of closures during extreme flood conditions.  That paving work will be completed in short sections with one-lane traffic controlled by flaggers.  A more specific traffic advisory will be issued before the work starts.

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(This story was originally published on Aug. 24, 2020)