Monday, August 25, 2003

Rush hour detours for bridge implosion

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Rush-hour traffic between Newport and Covington on the Licking Valley Girl Scout Bridge will be temporarily halted this morning when crews implode the nearby Shortway Bridge.

The Shortway Bridge linking 11th Street in Newport with 12th Street in Covington will be demolished at 8 a.m. by Louisville-based CRS Demolition. The Licking Valley Girl Scout Bridge, about 100 feet away, will be closed to drivers and pedestrians from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.

For safety reasons, no one will be allowed within 500 feet of the bridge during the implosion.

Motorists will be detoured to side streets just outside the blast zone. Meanwhile, employees at three nearby companies - PKI and Fastemp Inc. in Newport and Red Express Delivery Service in Covington have been advised to stay inside during the implosion.

For that hour, Kentucky highway officials suggest using the Fourth Street Bridge as an alternate crossing over the Licking River.

For 24 hours after the blast, the Licking River will be closed to boat traffic for about 1,000 feet north and south of the demolished bridge.

If all goes according to plan, the Shortway Bridge will crash into the Licking River in six pieces at 8 a.m. and be shipped to a junkyard. A siren will sound when the Licking Valley Girl Scout Bridge reopens to traffic.

The Shortway Bridge, also known as the 12th Street Bridge, was built in 1914 and opened the following spring. The relic from the streetcar era operated as a toll bridge until the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet took it over in 1986.

The two-lane Shortway Bridge was closed April 2, 2001, and was replaced by the four-lane Licking Valley Girl Scout Bridge six months later.



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