What should be done with the Kenlake debris?
by Franklin Clark, Reporter -- fclark@cadizrecord.com
Jun 13, 2012 | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As you are no doubt aware, Foss Maritime is considering not being responsible for the cleanup of the debris in Kentucky Lake.

They say it will be good for a fish habitat, and that they may be willing to give some money to various Trigg and Marshall County agencies in return. They also say the remaining debris isn’t a navigational hazard.

I must admit my ambivalence. On the one hand, it sounds like a stunt pulled by a company that is trying to shirk responsibility for an accident that seems largely, at least on the face of it, their fault.

It’s also a tad surprising that the bridge repairs were completed before all of the debris was dredged from the water. I would have thought it would have been the other way around.

On the other hand, ships and other manmade structures are regularly sunk on purpose to become artificial reefs and other underwater habitats.

And they may actually be right about the debris not being a hazard. When the Delta Mariner passed under the bridge last month (under the right span this time), it did so without incident. And it goes without saying that you probably won’t see a larger ship pass under the bridge in particular or through the lake in general.

Hopefully, we’ll hear back from the Coast Guard about what actually happened soon enough. More importantly, I hope it isn’t a whitewash.

And with any luck, the hearing in federal court in Paducah will determine which party was actually at fault.

But in any case, as Justin said the other week, the new four-lane bridges can’t come soon enough, because both current bridges are terrible. Perhaps by the time I’m done covering the current bridge drama, it will be time to cover the new bridges. That might be hopelessly optimistic.

So, what do you think should be done about the debris? To paraphrase The Clash, should it stay or should it go? Be sure and shoot us an e-mail!


Here is some constructive advice for people speaking out in open, public hearings. Please do not say something and then ask me not to write or print it. Not even if I’m the only press there.

No matter how mundane what you’re asking me not to print sounds to me, asking me not to print it makes it more interesting. It is probably going to have the opposite of the intended effect.

What I’m saying is, nothing in an open, public meeting or hearing is off the record. If the information you’re worried about is actually sensitive in some way, and not just embarrassing, it belongs in an executive session of some kind.

I’m willing to go off the record from time to time, but before the fact, not after. It isn’t a retroactive thing. Just a polite FYI. I thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.

Franklin Clark is a reporter for the Cadiz Record and can be reached by email at fclark@cadizrecord.com.
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