The new Kennedy Mill Bridge in Kentucky. Photo: Walsh Construction.

By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

A new bridge across Kentucky’s Herrington Lake opened Dec. 21, nearly a year ahead of the original schedule. “Merry Christmas, here’s your bridge,” Roddy Eyres, a drilling superintendent for prime contractor Walsh Construction, said during the ceremonial opening.

The new Kennedy Mill Bridge connects Kentucky’s Mercer and Garrard counties about 30 miles south of Lexington. It replaced a 1924 triple-span truss bridge beset in recent years by numerous closures and repairs. The older span was closed in March and demolished.

Steel girders for the new bridge that weighed up to 178,000 pounds were installed in September across five segments, and deck pours began in mid-November. The 826-foot-long bridge required unique engineering and constructability methods due to the 200-foot depth and behaviors of Herrington Lake.

The project was originally scheduled for November 2019 completion. Walsh Construction and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet reached an agreement to accelerate construction and deliver the bridge by the end of 2018 for $31.5 million.