Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson and many other state and federal officials were at the Eggnar’s Ferry Bridge today surveying the destruction and talking about what comes next.
The Lieutenant Governor says he and Governor Steve Beshear had the same thoughts as everyone else at first—was anyone injured or killed?
Abramson, who has only been in office for a little over a month, said the U.S. Coast Guard will look into the unanswered questions as to why the captain of the Delta Mariner was not in the proper channel and why he tried to fit under a portion of the bridge which is far too short.
Lieutenant Governor Abramson praised everyone involved for a fast and efficient response—one that he says will continue for as long as is needed.
Joining the Lieutenant Governor at the scene of the bridge collapse was Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock, who addressed the most pressing need—a new bridge.
Hancock noted the replacement of the 80-year old bridge was already on the state’s road plan and said that project is now at the top of the list.
Ironically, Hancock was at a conference several states away Thursday talking about inland waterways and how they can be affected by such disasters.
Even in his capacity overseeing all roadways in Kentucky, Hancock said he even had to take a step back and say “wow” when walking up on a 300-foot section of the bridge completely gone.
The economic and inconvenience impact caused by the bridge collapse are hard to quantify, but Trigg County and state officials are doing their best to do just that.
Trigg Judge-Executive Stan Humphries says nearly 3,000 vehicles a day will have to find an alternative route to get across Kentucky Lake.
Secretary Mike Hancock admitted that “patching” the old bridge in the meantime is likely not a possibility and said a ferry would also be a difficult proposition.
Highway Department spokesman Keith Todd estimated a ferry may be able to carry about 500 vehicles back and forth across the lake in a 24-hour day, only about a sixth of the cars who took the route as of Thursday evening at 8 O’Clock.