JACKSON — The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is looking for a new Kentucky home for an old Kentucky bridge in Breathitt County.
Beginning next year, the state plans to replace an aging bridge carrying Robinson Road (CR 1387) over the North Fork of the Kentucky River near Quicksand with a modern span. The existing bridge, a Parker truss bridge with a Pratt pony truss approach, was built in the early 1900s and has been determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge is approximately 324 feet long with one driving lane 10.5 feet wide.
In order to make room for the new bridge, the old one must be demolished. Rather than see this piece of history disappear, the cabinet and the Federal Highway Administration are seeking a new owner within Kentucky for the bridge.
Jeff Allen, environmental coordinator for the Department of Highways District 10, which includes Breathitt County, said that a program is in place to allow government agencies, historic preservation organizations or individuals to re-erect the bridge if its original characteristics are retained at the new site. Historic organizations and individuals must be approved by the state historic preservation officer to be eligible for the program.
Under the program, the Transportation Cabinet and the Federal Highway Administration will pay the costs of marking parts of the bridge, disassembling it, transporting it to the new site, and off-loading it. The recipient is responsible for all other costs, including site preparation, reassembly, replacement of parts suitable for the proposed use at the new location and construction of approaches. The recipient also becomes responsible for maintenance, liability and permits associated with the bridge.
Possible uses for the bridge include becoming part of a walking or bicycling trail in a city or county park, or for an individual landowner seeking a unique stream crossing for a private driveway.
“The last time we advertised a bridge for relocation, we received inquiries from all across the United States as well as internationally,” Allen said. “The costs for moving the bridge such a long distance are prohibitive and impractical. Therefore, we are seeking applications from within Kentucky for the possible relocation of the Quicksand bridge.”
Any eligible recipients can request additional information from Allen at the District 10 office located at 473 Highway 15 South, Jackson, or by calling (606) 666-8841. Letters of interest and written proposals for relocation of the bridge will be accepted until May 15 by Allen at the Jackson office.