NORTONVILLE, Ky. (WEHT) Nortonville residents in Hopkins County, and state leaders, celebrate the reopening of an important bridge that was closed for nearly a year-and-a-half.
They commemorated the completion of repairs to the New Salem Bridge just off of Highway 41.
“Quick, safe access to things that matter, family, church, jobs have been restored,” says Nortonville Mayor Scotty Harvey.
It was a big celebration for a small bridge that has great importance to residents in more than 100 homes.
“I think it looks great. It’s a little higher than I expected, which is great because it will clear the railway cars going underneath,” said State Rep. Melinda Gibbons Prunty, R-Muhlenberg County, whose district covers parts of Hopkins County.
“I was probably one of the third or fourth people to cross it,” adds Jacob Menser, who had to take detours during the bridge closure. “It was great, it was nice. You could get around and it was a free flow of traffic.” For him and other affected residents, it means a return to their normal commute.
“Next week’s our first week of bible school here at the church so it will be nice,” he said.
The price tag on the project came in at $350,000 according to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials, which was well below budget. Work to repair it began earlier this year. Back in 2017, the bridge was damaged during a railroad track widening project. That damage was complicated when a water main break damaged one of the embankments. The reopening means a shorter, and safer commute.
“It means a lot because of safety. The citizens were having to drive narrow windy roads to get through town. To me, the biggest issue is safety, but also the economy, getting people back to work quicker and and home safer,” said State Rep. Prunty.