Potential cost, time puts delay on bridge meeting
by Hawkins Teague
Jun 11, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The public meeting regarding the construction of new bridges over Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley originally set for Thursday (tomorrow), has been postponed until further notice.

The meeting was scheduled for Lake Barkley State Park, but it would probably be “a few months” before another meeting is scheduled, said Keith Todd, the public information officer for Districts 1 and 2 of the Kentucky Department of Highways. He said, though, it he didn’t know for certain how many months that would be.

A press release from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said that the meeting was postponed “to allow cost adjustments to be made to the final four proposed designs before they are presented for public comment.”

“In recent weeks our consultant came forward with more realistic cost estimates that put the total cost of the two bridges at up to $540 million,” said Bill Gulick, the executive advisor in the Transportation Cabinet, in the release. “That cost estimate would have likely pushed construction of the bridges back 10 to 20 years, or more.”

Todd told The Cadiz Record that $540 million was the “high-end figure” of what the bridges could cost, although he said he didn’t know what the cheapest possible cost was. He said that the Cabinet’s “senior staff in Frankfort” were going to have to “take a long hard look at the cost” of the bridges. He said that when public officials look at projects like this one in which a structure will be built that could last 75 to 100 years, they want to make sure that the project will turn out as well as it possibly could. Unfortunately, he said, the government doesn’t have unlimited resources.

“The reality is that you have to come up with the money now to build it,” Todd said.

Learn more about the unfunded bridges and potential designs in The Cadiz Record.
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