Ribbon Cutting Held for Vince Road Bridge

Published 10:35 am Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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The one-lane Vince Road bridge had served Jessamine Countians since the Great Depression in the 1930s when the bridge was constructed as part of the New Deal. 


As a one-lane bridge, drivers on either side of the road would have to take turns to pass the bridge. 

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Finally, drivers on either side can pass the bridge simultaneously. 


According to Judge Executive David West, the bridge, which was paid for by the American Rescue Plan Act monies allocated to the county, is now 24-feet wide, 12 feet wider than the original bridge. 


“It’s a fantastic improvement and long overdue. We had a one-lane bridge here, and now people can pass each other safely if they watch the rules of the road,” West said. “And two beavers, I am told, swam through the bridge while the crews were working on it, and they had no complaints.” 


West thanked Christopher Horne Engineering, which drew up the plans for the bridge, and Todd Johnson Contracting, which began working on it in early May. 


The ribbon-cutting ceremony included all of the Jessamine County Magistrates, Ronda May, the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, and Charla Reed, the Executive Director of Visit Jessamine. State Representatives Dan Fister, Don Douglass, and Kim King were also in attendance, as were multiple residents who live near the bridge. 


Magistrate Kent Slusher, who lives in and represents District 4, said he feels fantastic about this update. He grew up around the bridge, and with the wiffle ball field he used being so close to it, the wiffle balls would typically fall into the creek and float under the bridge. 


“I’d go under and get (the ball). I’ve had to go under that bridge many, many times. It was a safe bridge, but it was way past its time,” Slusher said, adding that state inspectors had cleared it multiple times. “But I mean 12 feet, good gravy, that was too little.” 


In his childhood, Slusher remembers helping folks whose vehicles would slide off the bridge on one side or another. “It’s just [going to] be safer. I made the joke, ‘I would kind of like a bridge that didn’t use Roman arch technology. I’d like to one up that if we could,’” Slusher said. 


But with this update, Slusher and the rest of Jessamine County won’t have to worry about sliding off the bridge, knocking off a mirror, or dealing with the bridge as a major point of traffic congestion when there’s a wreck on U.S. 27. 


After the ribbon cutting, crew members immediately removed the “road closed” signs from the bridge, opening it to the community.