Bids for constructing a new bridge to replace the existing Eggner’s Ferry Bridge over the Tennessee River were let on Dec. 20.
The project is part of the larger Lake Bridges Project, with the bridge’s design, a basket handle arch structure, eventually to be matched by a bridge of the same design over Lake Barkley, eight miles away at Canton.
Keith Todd, spokesman for the Ky. Transportation Cabinet (KYTC), said that several major international companies that take on large projects have shown an interest in the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge project.
He also said that KYTC engineers and bridge designers will need to study the bids submitted and make sure that the low bidder meets all specifications for the project.
“It will probably be the end of January before they sort through all of this,” said Todd, who covers the cabinet’s first and second districts.
He stressed that highway projects are years in the making, but said the cabinet hopes to go forward on this one on “an expedited schedule.”
The twin basket handle arch bridges planned for Eggner’s Ferry and Canton will be among only a few dozen worldwide to use that design concept, according to Mike McGregor, chief engineer for KYTC Dist. 1.
China has built several similar bridges, he said.
Construction is currently underway on the western and eastern approaches for the new bridge, the $25 million Lagoon Bridge Project, which has been described as a “bridge to a bridge.”
Additional information on the projects is available at www.lakebridges.com, which contains a history of the public participation process that brought the Cabinet to the design chosen, according to Todd.
The current bridge was rammed by a cargo vessel in January, 2012, with extensive damage forcing the closing of the bridge.
Repairs to the bridge were expedited, and the bridge was re-opened to traffic four months later, at the end of May.