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Maysville bridge (US 62) reopening planned for early May, after rust-proofing

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Engineers plan to reopen the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge in downtown Maysville in early May after additional rust-proofing and final inspections.

The 1930s-era bridge, which carries US 62 across the Ohio River between Maysville and Aberdeen, Ohio, closed late last year when inspectors found extensive corrosion damage to several suspender cables – the vertical cables extending from the main suspension cable that support the bridge’s driving surface.

In March, contractors began a temporary safety repair that included installation of support rods and brackets to reduce the stress on 19 damaged cables.

While that work is substantially complete, extra rust-proofing as well as weight limit calculations and inspections are now needed before the bridge can reopened.

“We understand the importance of the Simon Kenton Bridge to our region,” said Steve Gunnell, Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 chief engineer. “That’s why we’re taking a proactive, safety-first approach to protect motorists and to ensure the bridge remains open with the least amount of future traffic disruption.”

The rust-proofing, which has been added to the repair contract, includes applying a special anti-corrosive coating to steel cables and other components that are showing higher rates of corrosion than expected. It’s hoped that the extra work will slow down deterioration, and reduce the need for further retrofit closures, until longer-term repairs – such as a full cable replacement project – can be planned.

Once rust-proofing and inspections are complete, perhaps as early as the first or second week of May, the Simon Kenton Bridge will be reopened. And, it will be restricted to a lower weight limit.

Until then, the bridge remains closed. All US 62 traffic should detour using the William H. Harsha Bridge (US 68) three miles north of Maysville to connect to and from US 52 and US 62 in Ohio.

(provided by Kentucky Transportation Cabinet)

Paul Hitchcock earned his Masters in Communications from Morehead State University and Bachelors in Radio-TV/Psychology from Georgetown College. A veteran broadcaster for more than 40 years and an avid fan of blues, jazz and American roots music. Hitchcock has been with WMKY since 1986 and was named General Manager in 2003. He currently hosts "Muddy Bottom Blues" (Fri., 8pm-9pm), "Nothin' But The Blues" (Sat., 8pm-12am), "Sunday Night Jazz Showcase" and "Live From The Jazz Lounge" (Sun., 8pm-9pm) and "The Golden Age of Radio" (Sun., 2pm-3pm). He also serves as producer for "A Time For Tales" and "The Reader's Notebook."
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