DAVIESS CO., Ky. (WEHT) — On Wednesday, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet declared a State of Emergency to speed up a repair plan for the Panther Creek Bridge in Daviess County, Kentucky.
The bridge has been closed since August.
It’s good news and bad news for those that live and work near the bridge, because while they now know the bridge can be repaired, they also know it will remain closed for another 2 to 3 months.
“It’s been kind of rough. Especially on the farmers,” says one neighbor who did not want to go on camera. “They’ve got big equipment now and trying to get on these country roads, it’s kind of mess to try to do.”
“Once we get the steel on site and the contractor on site, we’re looking at maybe six to ten weeks,” says Keith Todd with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, “and again, that’s plus or minus some because we’re still a work in progress here.”
It’s not just heavy farm machinery that has been in a tight squeeze since the bridge closed in August.
“You’ve got your semi’s coming in from out of state. They don’t see that sign down there too well.”
That has resulted in those trucks turning around in driveways.
“Backing up, turning around.”
And those that do see the signs on time are dealing with a detour that some say is unsafe.
“They used to say that snakes laid out those roads you know? They’re narrow and …you meet a semi there and he’s got to have the road.”
The idea of the State of Emergency, and the expedited process is to open the bridge to traffic as soon as possible.
“Because of the amount of traffic this bridge carries, we have a lot of commuters that go through there, we think it’s worth the effort to expadite it to get it open as quickly as possible,” said Todd.
“It’s bad all the way around for everyone.”
Another neighbor says the neighborhood has been a bit ….quieter … since the bridge closed. Still, it’s safety first for people here who rely on P anther Creek Bridge.
“Whether it did take two years, just as long as they make it safe for us.”
The State of Emergency speeds up the time for contractors to bid on the project to 10 days.
State officials have not given an estimate on how much it will cost to repair the bridge.