DAVIESS COUNTY, Ky. (WEHT) — With repair work ahead of schedule, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says the Panther Creek Bridge will reopen in mid-August.

The bridge was damaged in May by a vehicle with a load too high to clear the cross members along the top portion of the bridge.

The clearance on the bridge will be raised.

Jim Smith Contracting is performing the work for $241,340.

KTC says approximately 5,200 vehicles cross the bridge each day.

Although Daviess County has seen quite a bit of rain since the bridge was closed a few months ago, contractors told Kentucky Transportation officials recently that they were still able to be ahead of schedule in the repairs of the bridge.

“I was on site on Tuesday and we were talking with the contractor and he made the statement that they had a lot of good weather,” said Keirsten Jaggers of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Jaggers says contractors have repaired and replaced some of the overhead cross members that a truck with a load too high hit back in late May. they are being raised two feet and strengthened with plates and bearing stiffeners.

“Both of these pieces have been applied to the bridge to strengthen those areas that were struck,” she explained.

It’s the latest change in the bridge’s fate. Cabinet officials first thought it had to be replaced after they first learned of the damage back in May, but later determined that the damaged parts could still be fixed, with an original reopening date of this Fall.

“Surprised. That it’s good. It’s great. Especially for the people on the other side,” said Roni Reisz, who lives by the bridge. While she doesn’t use it much, she says it will make the drive easier for those who have resorted to detours the past two months.

“The detour is not a very short detour, and it’s not exactly the widest road and it’s sort of dangerous. I do want to see it open for that,” Reisz says.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials add the new opening date won’t make a difference on the cost of repairs.

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(This story was originally published on July 17, 2020)