Inspectors who went below water to look at the piers holding up the remainder of the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge say they found no significant damage.
A news release from the Highway Department says the four-person dive team used high-resolution acoustic imaging equipment to check for impact damage and also to map the channel bottom around each pier.
The lengthy inspection turned up nothing which would prevent the state with going forward with drilling a new temporary pier and replacing the missing section with a temporary span.
Officials acknowledge it will take several months and some say over a year to get that job done, but it is the quickest option to get traffic across Kentucky Lake on a bridge.
The very early stages of work to build two new bridges is underway, but is several years away from completion.
Governor Steve Beshear announced the state’s intention to use some type of ferry service in his visit to the site earlier in the week, though that would only take a small portion of the vehicles that normally travel U.S. 68-80 on an average day at that point across the water.
Local state legislators addressed the topic on this week’s legislative program, with State Senator Joey Pendleton saying he’d rather see the state expedite the process of building the new bridges as soon as possible and using a ferry or two ferries in the meantime.
Representative John Tilley says the bridge outage is causing some severe problems for commuters who used the structure to get to and from work and school.
Representative Myron Dossett serves on the House Tourism Committee and says the outage will have its ill-effects on Land Between the Lakes.
You can hear the entire Legislative Program Sunday morning at 9 on Lite 98.7.