Need a bridge? KYTC has one available to adopt for free

Published 11:06 am Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Highway District Office in Pikeville has a historic bridge in Lawrence County available for adoption and is offering it “Free to a Good Home.”

The Georges Creek Bridge, located on KY 581 in Lawrence County, is scheduled for replacement next year, and Transportation Cabinet engineers are looking for a new owner for the old bridge, which was closed to traffic in 2019.

Built in 1924 by the Vincennes Bridge Co., Georges Creek is a Parker Pony Truss bridge and is described by the Cabinet as “a true masterpiece – the last of its kind.”  It is distinguishable by its two closely set arches connected by a series of steel beams that run the length of the structure.

Construction is scheduled to begin later this year on a new bridge at the same site.

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According to KYTC District 12 Chief Engineer Mary Westfall-Holbrook, “This bridge has great character, and while it is functionally obsolete by today’s standards, it could still make a wonderful addition to a park or hiking trail.”

The district is seeking a city, county or state government agency; historic preservation organization, or other approved individual or entity interested in having the bridge moved to a new site in Kentucky for preservation and reuse.“We’re hoping the right organization takes an interest,” Shantana Woodward, Public Information Officer, said. “There’s still a lot of life left in this bridge, and in the right setting, it will shine again.”

If it can be relocated to an appropriate setting, the bridge may still be eligible for designation on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Federal Highway Association and KYTC can pay all expenses associated with match marking, disassembly, transportation to the new site, and off-loading of the bridge in an amount up to the estimated cost of demolition.  The new owner, when chosen, will be responsible for all costs associated with site preparation and re-assembly of the bridge.  Any additional costs the project might bear will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Agencies, organizations, or individuals who have an interest in adopting the bridge should submit letters of interest and proposals for its use before April 7, 2023.  If no recipient is located or selected, the bridge will be documented to Historic American Engineering Record specifications and demolished.

For more information or to submit a written proposal, contact KYTC District 12 Public Information Officer Shantana Woodward at KYTC District 12, 109 Loraine Street, Pikeville, KY 41501; or call 606-433-7791.