A second closure of the Kentucky River bridge in Irvine is scheduled to begin Wednesday, March 16. Drivers who use this bridge should make plans to use an alternate route until mid-July. This closure is necessary to proceed with a project to repair and repaint the Estill County bridge carrying KY 52 and KY 89 over the river and the CSX Transportation railroad line.
While the work is ongoing, the bridge will be closed to all traffic, and a signed detour will be in place using KY 499 (the Joseph Proctor Memorial Bypass) and the river crossing downstream of the project location, connecting with KY 89 (Winchester Road/North Main Street).
This detour will impact travel between Lee and Owsley counties and Richmond, as well as local Estill County traffic.
The bridge was closed from December until February for expansion joint repair. Some of the repairs planned for the first closure were unable to be completed because of inclement winter weather, and those items were delayed until the second closure. In this upcoming second phase, the bridge will be repainted, a deck overlay placed, and metal railings repaired.
The bridge was last painted in 1987, before the new bypass bridge was built in 2000. That work resulted in lengthy traffic backups on both sides of the river. The presence of the new bridge and bypass will alleviate those concerns, enabling a full closure of the truss bridge to expedite repairs. The bridge is located on KY 52 between milepoints 7.4 and 7.5 at the south end of Main Street in Irvine. KY 89 traffic is also routed on the span. It was built in 1940 and carries nearly 12,000 vehicles per day. It serves as an iconic signature gateway to downtown Irvine.